Embody change with your body! (and save some change)

Go for it, lady! I like what I see…

30 squats = 1 free subway ticket

What I see, obviously, is not this lady showing what she’s got. What I see is Russians breaking stereotypes, and showing us how to be funny, practical and inspiring at the same time. When one thinks of Russia, a few stereotypes invariably come to mind: vodka, strong government, obsessive compulsive novelists, beautiful boombastic blonde girls and tall strong silent contract killers. What does not come at the top of the list is sense of humour and practical innovation.

Once again, preconceptions are misconceptions.

Moscow recently launched an interesting advertisement campaign that brings about a message of health and makes it immediately accessible to anyone, and fun for everyone. What is this all about? A new machine, recently installed at the Vystavochaya metro station in Moscow, allows people to get a free subway ticket after performing 30 squats in less than 2 minutes. This machine is part of a larger campaign to promote their upcoming Winter Games.

Let’s hope this is the first of a kind. This is an advertisement, but there is another way to think of it. Indeed, since transportation and health care are two services provided and usually subsidized to an extent by the local government, it makes sense to invest in one to the contain costs on another.  Can this scale? Likely not, especially not during peak hour. But it is a great tool for awareness. The effort is minimal, but still a stretch for some. The reward is immediate. There is a small victory one can be proud of, and justify (“I didn’t pay. Did you?”). And it is still fun for everyone to watch a chubby 40- or 50-something squatting repeatedly and forcibly for a free ticket. That makes you want to show you can do better.

30 squats = 1 Moscow subway ticket. That is a fun game. And that is a good deal.

What else can be done following the same principles? What simple, visible, accessible, interactive, funny experiment could you put in place in your company to promote positive behaviour with your employees, partners or clients?

до свидания (do svidaniya / good bye)

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