The aim is to encourage consumers to forget their troubles for a moment and bring back the good times by uncapping a bottle of Coke.
“Throughout its history, Coca-Cola has always tried to express a refreshingly positive view of the world,” said Joe Tripodi, the company’s Chief Marketing and Commercial Leadership Officer, speaking at the official unveiling of the campaign in late January 2009.
“Open Happiness builds on that heritage, recognising that even with the difficulties and stress of modern-day life, there are still opportunities, every day, to find a moment to recognise life’s simple pleasures. This new campaign reminds people that Coke is always there to offer that small moment of fun and refreshment when you need it.”
Open Happiness, which is seen as an evolution of the previous ‘Coke Side of Life’ campaign, will serve as the platform for all integrated marketing for brand Coca-Cola around the world.
The first new TV commercial was screened in the US during the hit show American Idol in January, with more to air in the following weeks, including broadcasts during the Super Bowl on 1 February and the Academy Awards presentation on 22 February.
The fully integrated campaign – with point of sale material, promotions, outdoor and print advertising, digital and music components, and more – will roll out in Coke markets around the world over the first half of 2009.
TV spots that will air globally include ‘Library’, with two teens flirting wordlessly during a study session; ‘Crave’, in which a thirsty man is drawn to the corner shop by tempting visions of Coke; and ‘Happiness Factory III’, an extension of Coke’s previous series of acclaimed ads.
Many of the Open Happiness posters and print ads, with their emphasis on Coke’s iconic Contour Bottle, evoke the company’s classic ‘Pause That Refreshes’ campaigns during the Great Depression of the 1920s and 1930s.
One image, of hands raising Coke bottles in a multi-ethnic toast, also delivers the same message as the much-loved ‘Hilltop’ commercial of 1971, widely remembered for the song I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke.
Music will also play a role in the Open Happiness campaign, with a new song recorded by five artists, including Cee-Lo of Gnarls Barkley. As well as accompanying ads, the recording will be available for download from iTunes.
The campaign was developed in partnership with Wieden+Kennedy, global agency for brand Coca-Cola since 2006. Although Coke wouldn’t reveal how much it’s spending on Open Happiness, the company’s budget for regular Coca-Cola and its variants was about $200m last year.
PepsiCo launched its own global campaign at the end of 2008, adding a ‘smile’ to its familiar logo to deliver a similarly cheerful message. Coke and Pepsi are anxious to halt the decline in their core carbonated brands in North America and many other developed markets.
With the world’s two greatest soft drinks manufacturers going head-to-head, it now seems the ‘Cola Wars’ of previous decades may be flaring up again.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019