Open Happiness

Coca Cola wants to make the world a little happier.  Their advertising campaign “open happiness” has been around for some time now, but it was not until recently did I become aware of their unique and seemingly very popular guerrilla marketing technique, the happiness machine.

A creative twist on the standard vending machine, Coke began their mission to “spread happiness” at St. John’s University in New York.  It not only dispensed free bottles of Coca Cola, it gave out flowers, pizza, and a six foot long sub generating one million views in the first week and more than five million views on YouTube today!

Want to get an idea of what this magical vending machine did to a seemingly normal day at St. Johns?  Watch the video below…

After St. Johns they continued to bring this magical machine to many other college campus’s across the U.S. as well as around the world stopping in Singapore, India, Buenos Aires, Indonesia, and London – just to name a few!

I can’t help but be pretty impressed by Coke’s ingenuity in this project, and am personally drawn to their advertisements supporting their creative machine.  However I do not think that they have totally sold the rest of my age group, who some have labeled “the millennial’s”.

Public Relations Society of America states that millennial’s ages 23-36 “place high value on social responsibility, sustainability, and local, organic, grass-fed and hormone-free dishes” and tend to go for “higher-quality products and lots of choices”.

With this definition, Coke may not be the millennial’s number one beverage choice.  Coke has a reputation of pushing heavy duty sugary drinks and there has been a lot of discussion about how sustainable they really are (lots of plastic within their bottles…).

On the other hand, millennial’s areimage.axd very Internet and social media savvy.  Having grown up with the Internet we like our information to be fast freely flowing, and Coke has done a good job keeping up to speed with innovative technological promotions, such as their new idea to have two users see each other and touch hands virtually through one of their special vending machines.  I consider myself to be a millennial and one thing I value is being a citizen of the world. The idea of connecting people across the globe is pretty cool (and current), and relates to my personal values.

I have to say, I am normally very opposed to Coca Cola’s schemes, but the happiness machine did work for me.  I caught myself smiling while watching videos of people accepting their free gifts… and did kind of wish they had come to my college campus as well!

WP 4/19


The Real Bears

The iconic Coca- Cola bears aren’t too happy in this video.  “The Real Bears” is a slightly shocking animated film about soda from the point of view of a group of polar bears whose health decline with their increased intake of sugar sweetened beverages.

The film, which goes along to Jason Mraz’s song “Sugar”, was created by the Center for Science and Public Interest and is an entertaining way to go about attacking our nations obsession with sugary beverages.

With the bears drinking more and more soda, they start to deteriorate.  One even has to get a leg amputated…

The Center for Science and Public Interest breaks up the film with short facts stating the “truth” about sugary drinks.  Some facts such as “drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases your risk for type 2 diabetes by 25%” and following with “diabetes can lead to erectile dysfunction” are disturbing and cut right to the cord of how harmful soda can be.   These logical inserts add a powerful educational and influential spin on this highly publicized topic.

The use of these facts intermingled in the comedic, yet haunting film, is an effective way to attack the problem.  The bears keep you entertained, yet truly are influential as they get diabetes, loose their sex drive, as well as their limbs all because of soda.

Every move in the film is well calculated and relevant to today’s discussion of sugar-sweetened beverages.  With New York City’s ban on super sized sugary drinks to the proposed sugar sweetened beverage tax, this film is yet another way of attacking what some think is a huge problem and one of the major causes of the obesity epidemic in America.

What do you think?  Are these bears helping fuel the fire or are they going to just be passed over by the millions of dollars that go into sugar sweetened beverage advertising?

NP 3/12

Coke, The Cure To Obesity?

About a month ago, Coca-Cola released a new commercial as a part of their “Coming Together” campaign.  Aimed at addressing the role sugar sweetened beverages have on the nations obesity epidemic, the two minute advertisement gives a short n’ sweet synopsis of the “good” that Coke has been doing to change how their company is impacting one of the nations biggest health issues.

Over fantastical images of America and Coca-Cola together, the advertisement tries to show how Coke has brought people together for generations.  The female narrator tried to tie the same comradery to coming together over solving the obesity epidemic in our nation.  Facts are shown describing their efforts to increase the number of low and no calorie drink choices available, their decrease of high calorie sugary drinks in schools, as well as the visible calorie content shown on the beverage label.


However despite how they frame the issue, Coca-Cola isn’t eliminating or decreasing the amount of high sugar and calorie beverages they are producing.  Though they may be offering alternatives, it seems as though the advertisement is just pushing under the bridge their massive history encouraging sugary drinks throughout history.  And they are still trying to make money… perhaps this new advertisement is just another way to promote their beverage products?

Personally I think that the idea of Coca-Cola trying to persuade America that they personally are behind new inventive ways to decrease obesity is just laughable.  Nice try Coca-Cola, but you didn’t fool me.  What do you think?  Is Coke just trying to pull the wool over our eyes, or are they really trying to help America get healthy?

NP 2/19