Photo: RaboDirect Australia [Flickr]
Money doesn't grow on trees. Or does it? As a publicity stunt, RaboDirect of Australia sponsored a stunt where a tree in a park in Sydney is festooned with real $5 bills:
An Overview of Responses:
Link [with video clip]
In the early stages, almost 100 people passed the tree without noticing that anything was different. Even when a group of joggers noticed, they were too busy to stop. The first groups who eventually stopped to interact couldn’t believe it. They inspected the notes and took pictures, but left empty handed.
Follow the Crowd
Only once one brave participant started taking the money, did momentum gather. Legitimized by the crowd, a wide spectrum of behavior ensued.
Some took just one or two notes, satisfied by their modest and unexpected gains.
Consumed by the fantasy, a group of braver participants made the most of the opportunity by filling their pockets.
Employing Tools and Working Together
When the low hanging $5 notes were depleted, participants employed tools such as swinging coats and umbrellas, to help them reach higher branches. Teamwork also came into play as spectators formed human pyramids to reach the notes seemingly out of reach.
Perhaps the most comforting observation from the participants was that of altruism. Taller participants shared their earnings with shorter spectators, while one gentleman on identifying the undercover observation team, requested his money be donated to charity.