The theme of ‘happiness’ has long been an integral part of Coca-Cola’s marketing strategy, with TV executions repeatedly inviting consumers to “open happiness”. In recent years, the brand has undertaken unique experiential activities attempting to capitalise on this theme, stepping outside the realm of its usual ATL campaigns to reach new and diverse audiences. We’ve chosen the best of these examples from around the world that emphasise Coca-Cola’s dedication to bringing happiness to all.
USA – Happiness Machine 2010
The initiative in the US targeted students in an everyday college campus, and was the first campaign to use a Coca-Cola vending machine to offer gifts and prizes. Unsuspecting students were offered rewards such as pizzas, balloon animals and, of course, free Coca-Cola. Despite only one tweet and one Facebook post from the official Coca-Cola pages supporting the initiative, the video on YouTube managed to rack up 820,000 views within ten days.
Singapore – Recycle Happiness 2012
This initiative in Singapore once again used the brand’s Happiness vending machines to offer rewards, although this campaign had an additional tactic of boosting Coca-Cola’s eco-conscious credentials. Consumers were encouraged to recycle their old plastic bottles in order to receive free gifts and prizes, with the brand emphasising that “when you’re done, your bottle is not”.
Italy – Happiness Table 2012
Another initiative intended to boost the brand’s positive image, this campaign promoted the notion of community and healthy eating by using a Coca-Cola truck that turned into a dining table for an entire village in Naples. Famous chef Simone Rugiati featured in the campaign to prepare the food, with Coca-Cola aligned with traits such as community, togetherness and family.
India / Pakistan – Small World Machines 2013
In 2013, Coca-Cola updated its vending machines with cameras and web technology in order to provide a ‘live chat’ opportunity between the fractured people of India and Pakistan. The initiative intended to strengthen the ties between these two countries, highlighting that their differences are only skin-deep while positioning Coca-Cola as a facilitator of good times and unity.
South Africa – Rainbow Nation 2014
Celebrating 20 years of South African democracy, this campaign capitalised on the status of South Africa as The Rainbow Nation to create rainbows above Coca-Cola billboards all over Johannesburg. Used to celebrate ‘Freedom Month’ in the nation, the subtly poignant initiative also celebrated the work of South Africa’s greatest politician Nelson Mandela, who died the previous year.