Coca-Cola brand activations: power of happiness proposition

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Of late, there’s been a surfeit of videos for Coca-Cola which can be broadly clubbed under ‘activation’ or Promo. Most of them involve an on-ground event where consumers engage with the Coca-Cola brand directly or indirectly. Some of these activations have gone on to win awards, while many have become viral successes. All of them have the ingredients of great activation programmes. The latest in such videos are these:

Coca-Cola Second Lives

As part of its global sustainability program, Coca-Cola has launched ‘2ndLives’, a line of 16 innovative caps which can be screwed onto bottles after consumption, transforming them into fun and useful objects, such as a paintbrush, water-squirter and pencil sharpener, among others, and encouraging consumers to reuse and recycle plastic.

Agency: Ogivly & Mather, Beijing

Coca-Cola Happy ID

An activation programme in which people can take portrait pictures for use in official IDs through Coca-Cola branded photo booths. The catch: the camera activates only when it detects a smile.

Agency: McCann, Lima

Coca-Cola Happy Beep

Coke opens happiness everywhere. With a small surprise in the counters of a major Brazilian supermarket chain, they were able to open smiles even before the consumer opened a Coke.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather

Coca-Cola Friendly Twist

Rooted in a fantastic, universal insight about the first day in college and what it takes to break the ice and bring people together.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Colombia

Coca-Cola: Hello Happiness

To give labourers in the UAE a few extra minutes of happiness, Coca-Cola created the Hello Happiness Phone Booth — a special phone booth that accepts Coca-Cola bottle caps instead of coins for a free 3-minute international phone call, helping them connect with their families back home more often.

Agency: Y&R, Dubai

The Coca-Cola Mini Kiosk

When the can is mini, so is the kiosk.

Agency: Ogilvy & Mather, Berlin

What works?

I think the reason why such activations are being churned out thick & fast (and churned out well) is due to the focus and simplicity of the central idea: happiness. Any act, which brings a smile in the faces of people interacting with that act qualifies as meeting the brief. Of course, the brand values of shared happiness, good clean fun have to be kept in mind. The role of the actual product can sometimes be tenuous (as in the Coca-Cola photo booth in Peru), which is fine. In other case, the product plays a central role – as with the Beijing (Second Life) and UAE (calling overseas) activations.

However, I can’t help get the feeling that such activations are thought of and immaculately executed (with slick case videos and all) clearly with an eye on awards. I don’t think anyone is going to ask whether such activations directly resulted in sales increase mainly because of the stature of the brand and what such activations do to the brand.  Coca-Cola is an iconic brand with several marketing programs in place to drive demand – so there is no pressure of such activations directly impacting sales. What such activations do is to brighten the halo around the brand, strengthen the brand affinity and make the brand even more likeable. The activations bring a smile on the viewer’s face too as they have a air of ingenuity about them (use of technology, a twist in an everyday tale) and singularly focused on sharing happiness.

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  1. If they want to call again, they have to buy another bottle and Coca Cola are making them thinking they are killing to birds in one shot (phone call and thirst), but the only thing they are killing is themselves with that HIGHLY TOXIC DRINK due to that liar “hello happynes” campaing. Look, those men need to eat, not drink that. If Coca Cola would really wants make people happier by contribuing in something, they must stop selling that rotten poison or at least communicate those needy men not to consume it so much by taking advantage of their missing family situation.

    Coca Cola’s strategy is always trying to make all of us believe they are doing a favor with community, but that’s not true. They have to distract the consumer with global feelings and desires like happyness (btw, that’s a good one, nice work) in order not to focus in the assassin ingredients ike sodium hydrogen (the one which creates the bubbles) to not vomit all the sugar you are ingesting.

    Drink water and use it just to clean things like blood on the pavement or disinfect your toilet. Consuming Coca Cola in not cool, it’s an attack to your immune system, decalcified bones and more.

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