What can you do about meaningless habits?

We all use our smart phones in pretty silly ways, whether that is updating our status every time we arrive at a new location, spending copious amounts of time liking all our friends’ photos or instagraming every meal we eat. However, no matter how much any company tries, these habits are not going to change. So why not add something meaningful to these everyday addictive actions?

Virgin Mobile Jane Lynch

That is exactly what Virgin Mobile is doing in their latest campaign.

Calling on the talents of the unbelievably funny Jane Lynch, Virgin are showing phone users some of the silly ways in which they use social media. There are two ways to change these so called ‘phone pas’. They could preach to phone users about more productive uses of their time or they could change the meaning behind this current behaviour to change the outcome. Thankfully, they have gone for the latter.

Check out the video below:

This video is just the start of the Virgin Mobile campaign which has teamed up with Australian charity OzHarvest to target the relentless food sharers. You know the people. Those who cannot have a meal during the day without sharing it with all their followers.

This action currently holds very little meaning except bombarding followers with random pictures of bagels, eggs, sandwiches and curry. But Virgin is changing that!

For every food picture that is posted on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #mealformeal, Virgin will help OzHarvest delivery a meal to one of the two million Australians who need food assistance. With this simple addition, a previously insignificant part of mobile behaviour becomes significantly more meaningful.

Virgin and OzHarvest are receiving great promotional value, more Australians are receiving access to necessary food supplies and obsessive food sharers have found great value in their habits. I would call that a win-win.

This new campaign from Virgin is a great example regarding changing insignificant human behaviour into a powerful tool. Rather than trying to introduce a completely new habit, using an existing behaviour and adding a new meaning makes consumers much more likely to engage with the initiative and removes a lot of resistance that would stand in the way of developing a new habit.

What habits bug you? Rather than complaining about them, maybe there is a more productive way to utilise the immense power behind these actions to create an even more interactive and enhanced experience!