The Happiness Virus

I’m sure you’ve all seen this piece by now…



Here‘s one somewhat negative review. And here‘s another.

Now I love a good opinion piece. I write them often. And I’m fairly certain that’s how I fool most of you into reading this blog occasionally.

But I have to respectfully say these guys are wrong.

This is a fucking awesome viral by Coca Cola. And I can call it that because that was its intention and that’s what it achieved. Yes it is probably fake and over acted, and yes it doesn’t follow what some would dub the conventions of creating a viral… but it went viral. And in a big way.

The only people who are going to watch that and leave disappointed work in this industry I love called advertising.

But what really gets me excited in the pants about this is its branding. This is not just a piece of entertaining content that someone’s slapped a logo on the end of (check out that link, would love to get your thoughts on that too). The video is about the product. And not just product placement. Even the current brand personality of happiness comes across.

I’m just gonna put it out there, but this is the perfect piece of branded content.

No Comments
  • Anonymous
    Posted at February 2, 2010 11:10am, 02 February Reply


  • Nathan Bush
    Posted at February 2, 2010 11:56am, 02 February Reply

    Agree with you mate – great piece of content. Fits the brand, bit of fun and widely engaging. It's not rocket science but neither is the majority of what we watch on TV. Credit for the positivity mate.

  • lyndellnm
    Posted at February 2, 2010 1:00pm, 02 February Reply

    I have a feeling that there's more to the "entertaining content that someone's slapped a logo on the end of" than meets the eye, Zac. Yes, it's a bit cheesy that they poured the tub of (insert appropriate brand name here) over the coach's head. You're thinking Gatorade, aren't you. So, can you tell me that that scene wasn't pure product placement?
    I know, it's not just about product placement, but I'd be surprised if this one viral video was the beginning and the end of this campaign. I get excited in the pants just thinking about the opportunities (and I'm talking online and offline) that the reuinion game might offer to a savvy marketer with a Gatorade sized budget… *sigh*
    And, I know this is definitely reflective of my age but unfortunately I totally get the idea of no longer being 20, and having the chance to reclaim your sporting glory from years gone by. By those standards, I'd argue that the Gatorade video is, just like your Coke example, totally about the product and what it offers every washed up 30-something… superior hydration a chance to relive that one moment…

  • LachyW
    Posted at February 2, 2010 5:05pm, 02 February Reply

    I totally agree as well, I couldn't help enjoying this one.

    And definitely agree with you that it really drives home Coke's current message "share the happiness"… it's brilliant in that way in fact.

    I put in a bit of positive moderation over on the Anthill post by the way… I think James and Paul maybe hadn't had their morning coffee yet!

  • Nick Malham
    Posted at February 2, 2010 5:44pm, 02 February Reply

    I would like to have seen the results at a real college without all the actors. Still, I'm a fan of this and will share the happiness.

  • Zac Martin
    Posted at February 2, 2010 6:17pm, 02 February Reply

    @ Nathan Bush

    A lot of my entertainment and a lot of the stuff I talk about with mates (two factors that make up many virals) isn't rocket science either. Cheers for the comment.

    @ lyndellnm

    Haha, glad someone bit on that. I actually think that's probably one of the better "logo slap" type virals, particularly integrated into a whole campaign.

    But at the end of the day, the video was about football, not the drink. Not that that's necessarily bad, just not quite as powerful.

  • threebillion
    Posted at February 2, 2010 7:35pm, 02 February Reply

    People want to be entertained.

    If an advertiser can create something entertaining, then they have succeeded at being an entertainer. The real skill is how you weave your brand into the entertainment.

    Coke made themselves the entertainment. Gatorade just told an entertaining story.

    Both did it well.

  • Jason Tsitsopoulos
    Posted at February 2, 2010 10:13pm, 02 February Reply

    I reckon Gatorade did much better in communicating the hype of it all… I cringed at cokes example… But hey thats just my 2 cents

  • ollie
    Posted at February 3, 2010 2:57pm, 03 February Reply

    My take was this was brilliant viral ad- catching (supposedly unaware) people off guard and creating an above expectation experience clearly linked to Coke. It becomes another boring ad when the over the top jokes (balloon animals & sandwiches) and faked reactions start to appear. This is called creative overkill- by product of advertising mindset to keep the gags running after the first funny one hits. Why not have left it short & sharp, and make everyone think, walking past a vending machine, man is this was one going to pay out?


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