Coke Brands World Peace with “Open Happiness” Machines


Coca-Cola has been getting very serious about its “Open Happiness” campaign. Now it may even be ready to try to beat swords into plowshares—or at least into vending machines.

Ad Age reports that a big announcement “is coming soon” about a “major project” for the brand, possibly involving vending machines that will virtually connect consumers in India and Pakistan, two countries that long have had sectarian, sometimes bloody, differences. As depicted in a teaser video that Coke released in December, the machines would use video technology so that users in the two countries could see each other and “touch hands virtually,” the magazine reported.

“The idea,” Ad Age continued, “is that it could roll out to various countries in conflict.”[more]

And why not? Coke already has shown that its “happiness project” and global marketing theme “Open Happiness” have accomplished more actual good in the world than most marketers’ cause-tinged efforts. Not since the brand hatched “I’d Like To Buy the World a Coke” 32 years ago (and then followed up with the anthem “I’d Like To Teach the World To Sing” in a TV ad with the agency-assembled Hillside Singers) has the brand created such a direct impact on global spirits with its sunny disposition.

Only this time, Coca-Cola chiefly is doing so by rigging vending machines around the world to do various specific, local things, which then are quickly shared on social media—including having a vending machine in Singapore respond to a hug by dispensing a Coke and producing flowers, pizza and a six-foot-long sub out of a machine strategically placed in the common room of St. John’s University in New York.

Objections, anyone? We didn’t think so. Now go enjoy that Coke.