Merry Christmas from Lowe Brussels: THE SMALLEST WISH CARD IN THE WORLD (2008)
Merry Christmas from Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam: VIRTUAL HOLIDAY DINNER (2010)
The brief was to make a Christmas card on behalf of WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM – something that we could give to clients, family, friends and even strangers. We realized what people want most around the holidays, more than any trinket or card, is to simply be together. No distance should keep loved ones apart. And so we decided to create a virtual holiday dinner, using the Internet to create a new type of Christmas greeting and blowing the traditional Christmas card out of the water.
This Christmas message was especially relevant in our office, which is 75% expatriate – there are 130 people from 20 different countries. Nothing could have been more meaningful to our people than enabling them to connect with people far away.
The rustling faux fireplace, festive holiday table and well-dressed mannequins set the scene.
Mannequins were fitted with screens as faces and connected to Skype so people could simply call in and with the help of their webcam, appear on the face of one of the dolls at the table. The cameras on their foreheads let the people at home have a real-time view of the space and everyone at the table. To make this dinner as realistic as virtually possible, we partnered with a robotics specialist to build a unique facial tracking software. Users could move their mannequin’s head by simply moving their face from side to side. Thus, diners could turn and focus on each person.
We packaged the invitation and booking system onto a website and spread the news via Facebook, Twitter and email.
At the end of the three days there were 16,000+ twitter mentions and 3,800 Facebook likes. Most importantly, 156 people, from 6 continents had gathered together for a holiday dinner. There were romantic dates, cross-continental family reunions and even first time meetings.
Voted 2010′s Best Agency Holiday Cards by Adweek.
Adverblo called it, “A lovely Christmas gift from W+K Amsterdam.”
Fast Company said, “The dinner was an undeniable success.”
“WIEDEN+KENNEDY AMSTERDAM make it possible to sit down with faraway family and friends for a virtual holiday dinner.”
“Now, I really have to dinner with my family!”
Merry Christmas from Tequila/TBWA Auckland: SNOWMAN (2006)
The brief: create the annual Christmas card for New Zealand agencies Whybin\TBWA & TEQUILA\ to send to clients, suppliers and business partners.
Disrupt Christmas conventions (ie: send a card). Stand out from the ho ho ho hum. We sent out a plastic bag containing water, a pipe, a carrot and two round black stones. The attached message was simply: “Warmest Christmas wishes from Whybin\TBWA & TEQUILA\”.
The Christmas mailer exceeded all expectations and snowballed into a huge promotional piece for the agency. Recipients loved it (whether they got it instantly or had someone busting to explain it to them). More than that, they started talking about it and testing it on their friends. Before long, it was being picked up and discussed on radio stations and profiled in the national newspapers. Generating thousands of dollars worth of free publicity for the agency – and an unexpected ROI of over 1100% on agency costs.
Merry Christmas from Mother London: GIVING IS GLORIOUS (2010)
Brief and target audience: To show existing and new clients, as well as creatives in the industry, that Mother London is one of the the leading creative agencies. Strategy: Millions of electronic Christmas greeting cards are sent around nowadays. It’s considered by many as something that clutters your inbox rather than something to appreciate. We turned this on its head by creating one email that appears to be just another piece of junk mail but was in fact one of the most important emails that you received all year.
We gave a corporate Christmas gift/card in a unexpected way, the first honest spam, which strengthened the brand as a inventive creative leader. A gift that was entertaining for both existing and new clients as well as creatives in the industry.
We decided to spend our whole budget on a christmas gift to one person.
A spam e-mail offering $10 000 for the first one to reply, was sent out to hundreds of clients and partners. Only one guy replied and we gave him a visit. We filmed the experiment and sent another email to all the people who got the spam. We explained ‘On the 10th of December we offered you $10 000, but you didn’t reply’. Attached was the link to the film. Both our clients,as well as everybody else, could enjoy the film as it spread online.
A quater of a million views on YouTube in a couple of days. 5th most viewed clip in the UK on YouTube (that month). It also reached a number three on the subjects ‘most Twittered about’ during the first days.
Merry Christmas from Brey Leino Bristol: CHRISTMAS CARD (2006)
“This year, instead of Christmas cards we’re donating money to the NoMore Landmines Trust. Best wishes from all of us at Bray Leino Bristol.”
Merry Christmas from Shackleton, Madrid: XMAS REVISITED (2007)
We used the excuse of the Christmas Seasons Greeting for an action to demonstrate in the most practical way the creative capacity of the agency.
• Seasons Greetings: Send our clients and prospects our Christmas and New Year wishes
• Display the creative capacity of the agency
• Anchor the image of “creative and integrated agency” in our clients and prospects.
The solution: an exercise full of humor and irony, playing on what is generally the daily relation between “client-agency” in relation to the IDEAS.
We wrote a book following the structure of a “meeting report” where we address, consecutively the surrealistic propositions and comments from both the client and the agency on different aspects of Christmas, such as:
The characters (Father Chrismas/St.Klaus, etc…
The customs (grapes, roscón: kings’ cake, etc…
The location (urban rules in Bethlehem, etc…)
The ambient (climate changes, etc…)
The company’s Christmas present.
• 531 emails of Thank you and cards (67% SPONTANEOUS answer)
• We got 26 agency presentations when the expected standard would have been less than half.
Merry Christmas from Young & Rubicam Brands, Milan: GREEN CHRISTMAS (2011)
Christmas greetings card that challenges the receiver to save energy. Recipients were delighted by receiving a typical greeting card that to address a very important theme uses irony.
Brief: send an original and emotional Christmas card to all Grey Global Group clients that communicates the spirit of the holidays.
We decided not to send a regular Christmas card, but a 3D mailing. A box containing a teddy bear with instructions of what to do with it. It must be given to a street child, and the smile that it generated was Grey’s present to our clients.
Most of our clients returned the coupon which translated into a donation to an orphanage. We received lots of emails and letters congratulating Grey for such an original and emotional Christmas mailing. All of them gave the teddy bear away.
Merry Christmas from Happiness Brussels: GIFT A STRANGER (2011)
The typical yearly agency brief: create an agency Christmas Card.
As Christmas is a traditional period of gift giving, we at Happiness Brussels wanted to push that giving spirit of Christmas just a little further…
We created Gift a Stranger: a website that allowed people to send a gift to a random person somewhere in the world, and spread a little bit of happiness
The site automatically found a random address somewhere in the world. People could then print out this address, and send their gift to this unknown person. Their gift appeared on the map, with all other gifts from people all over the world.
Results and Effectiveness:
- More than 700 gifts sent during Christmas
- 75.000 unique clicks on the website
- Gift a Stranger was featured on leading blogs
- More than 6.000 impressions on Twitter, Facebook & Tumblr
Merry Christmas from H57, Milan: RE-PACK PROJECT (2011)
H-57 loves and respects the environment. For this reason, during Christmas, we decided to launch an initiative that would promote our agency and be useful at the same time. We have therefore implemented a very simple idea, but in our opinion very effective to make people understand the importance of reusing old boxes/ envelopes/packagings even after the Christmas holidays, to produce an awareness on environment issues (even with a small action), to protect and save a lot of trees!
The challenge was to promote our agency doing a good deed. We started thinking to a very simple creative idea with low production costs. Moreover, it would have been perfect if we could find something that would help to “educate”our clients to respect the environment/nature.
The idea came one day while we were at work in the agency. There were some boxes and we tried to close one of them inside out then we had the idea to reuse all the boxes that we had here in office. We personalized the boxes with a red sticker to make the idea understandable, elegant and cool without being cheap. Our concept has been published on many blogs and our customers liked and appreciated our funny promotional operation too.
Merry Christmas from Grabarz & Partner Hamburg: RECYCLED CHRISTMAS CARD (201o)
The task was to design a Christmas greetings card for clients and business partners of the advertising agency Grabarz&Partner with the advice that money would be donated to a charity in their name. The aim was to generate affinity for Grabarz&Partner.
Presentation boards of Grabarz&Partner campaigns that had been rejected internally were cut up into postcard-size pieces and dispatched with Christmas greetings. Grabarz&Partner received many positive reactions from clients and business partner.
Merry Christmas from Vitruvio Leo Burnett, Madrid: THE GIFT IS US (2009)
The main goal was to say Merry Christmas to other agencies in a special way. We wanted to give an honest gift, inspired by generosity and love, that reoresented the values of Christmas. We wanted to present them with a gift that would be hard to forget, something that would leave the best impression of our agency on the advertising industry.
Each creative went with a special kit, which included: one numbered laptop bag, two t-shirts (one for each day), 1 pendrive with the goodbye email and some goodbye sweets. They worked with new accounts and new bosses. The decision about which creative had to go to each agency was made studying the profile of each creative, in order to really help the agency with their capabilities, all of our creatives went to their designed agency with the intention of helping out and doing the best possible job. It was the only way to approach the main goal of the campaign.
The experience was greater than we could imagine:
- A pitch won.
- A print campaign published.
- 3 webfilms created.
- More than 90% of our ideas were presented to clients.
- And the most important thing, according to our objectives: more than 500 new friends were acquired.
The best thing we could do to leave a good impresion on the agencies was to do something valuable for them, something they would remember us by. We offered them our time and our work to help them to go forward with their own projects. Is there a better gift for an agency than that?
Merry Christmas from Ruf Lanz, Zurich: RUF LANZ CHRISTMAS MAILING (2009)
Over the Christmas season, customers receive many greeting cards and mailings. Most are placed straight in the wastebasket. The challenge was to create a distinctive mailing that would get the agency noticed both in its idea and execution – and one that customers would not forget for a long time.
Each year at Christmas, the Ruf Lanz advertising agency sends their customers a surprise. With 2008 having been such an economically difficult year, this Christmas they wanted to make it a special surprise.
During the Christmas period, many people like to light candles. That’s why the heads of the four members of the creative board were reproduced as candles. A mould of each of the four heads was elaborately hand-carved in wood. They were used to pour 150 sets of candles – and then hand-painted by the French artist Martine Siragusa. The candles were sent in a wooden presentation box.
The customers responded enthusiastically to the quality mailing. Many put the candles in their offices– and lit them. Some even took them home and decorated their Christmas tree with them. The mailing was also sent to potential customers: one subsequently brought his advertising budget to Ruf Lanz.
Merry Christmas from Nitro, London: UNSUBSERVIENT SANTA (2008)
Nitro’s alternative Christmas card comprised of an interactive microsite called Unsubservientsanta.com. Users we’re invited to write their Christmas wish in the dialogue box and submit it to Santa. Santa would be woken by a flashing light and the request appearing on his printer. Using the latest in interactive technology, Santa would blatantly ignore the request and do something unseasonably unpleasant such as make a rude gesture, smash up the presents or cut down the Christmas tree with a chainsaw. The site proved incredibly popular with staff, clients, friends and the general public.
Merry Christmas from Wunderman Zurich: WAKE UP SANTA (2006)
The annual greetings for Christmas and the New Year are a part of Christmas like Santa Claus and the Christmas tree. The tradition of these greetings is to be maintained, without being traditional. The agency network Wunderman/Futurecom should therefore look for a solution, which stands out against the flood of Christmas cards, amuses and at the same time underlines the expertise of the two agencies on their creativity and integrated communication.
The Solution: Wake up Santa, an unconventional sort of Christmas communication via an entertaining and engaging mailing and web game: Wunderman and Futurecom sent the selected recipients a printed Christmas card that asks them to be a hero. They should save Christmas online. This means waking up Santa by choosing the correct combination of waking-up-methods. http://www.wake-up-santa.ch is an interactive site: each try to wake up Santa is shown live via video streaming. The videos were produced in-house, by the agencies themselves. Despite the fact that the visitors had no possibility to win anything or got any other kind of incentive on the website, the campaign obtained remarkable results.
With a send out of 2750 addresses the Website generated:
- 3 784 visits
- 2 287 visitors, 20.4% of it regular
- average of 176 visits daily
- average of 5,27 minutes spent on the website
- 2990 waking attempts or approximately 15 000 streamed waking video clips
- 220 reminder registrations (9,6% of the visitors)
Merry Christmas from Villarrosas, Barcelona: CHRISTMAS AGITATION FRONT (2007)
At Christmas, the agency sent its season’s greetings to its clients and friends by creating the Christmas Agitation Front (F.A.N. in Spanish). “
A kit was sent by post with templates of slogans for windows and a spray, calling all the group’s followers to action. The themes on the templates were the F.A.N. logo, a Christmas ball-bomb, “Happy Climate Change”, “More ham and less syrup”, “Pay rise!” and “Consume moderately. It’s your responsibility.
250 welcome packs for the Christmas Agitation Front were sent in total.
Merry Christmas from Wunderman Germany: CHRISTMAS DINNER (2006)
The Brief: develop an attention-grabbing mailing for the agency’s business partners, that:
-differentiates Wunderman from other agencies
-proves the creative excellence of Wunderman
-works as the perfect Christmas greeting.
The Solution: Christmas time is greeting time. And it’s also the time of perfect dinners.
Wunderman links both together. By sending out an eatable mailing, that – even if it’s made of paper – tastes like the classical Christmas turkey.
It was realized by Chicago’s chef Homaro Cantu, who developed a patented method to print the taste of different dishes to eatable paper.
Results. It’s fascinating, by attention and surprise. This innovative greeting supports the positioning of Wunderman as competent and creative dialogue-agency. Even if there was no response required, 36% of the addressees felt inspired to answer – some of them by inviting our Board of Executives to a Christmas Dinner.
Merry Christmas from KMS Team, Munich: BUILDINGS BRANDS CHRISTMAS GREETING (2011)
The task was to develop a Christmas greeting for clients and partners on behalf of KMS TEAM, a company for brand strategy, brand design and brand communication.
The Christmas gift had to meet the following requirements: establish a personal connection, take up the topics of “brand” and “Christmas”, and invite the recipient to become active.
As a Christmas greeting, the brand agency KMS TEAM sent its clients and partners a personalized LEGO set: a conference room with the logo of the respective recipient as an image projection. Under the title, “Building brands”, the accompanying card established the connection to KMS TEAM’s core expertise. Thus a classic gift (LEGO for Christmas) became a delightful means of communication.
Many recipients of the present personally thanked the sender and had very positive things to say about the Christmas greeting.
Merry Christmas from Advertising Depot, Brisbane Australia: ISTANT CHRISTMAS TREE MAKER (2005)
Brief: to generate new business without having to plead with prospective clients for lunch dates.
We created a Christmas gift that challenged expectations and was interesting enough that prospective clients would give us a call, instead of the other way around. In a market rife with predictable Christmas Gifts, the Instant Christmas Tree Maker aimed to turn expectations on their head and position us as an agency that achieves cut-through and can add new dimensions to our clients’ advertising.
The majority of prospective clients contacted us to say thank you, presenting us with an opportunity to set up a meeting to discuss their account. We have consolidated 3 substantial accounts as a direct result of the campaign, increasing our billings by approximately 30%.
Merry Christmas from Red C Advertising, UK: CHRISTMAS NUMBER ONES (2008)
Wish clients a Merry Christmas in a fun and interactive way that shows how the agency is now producing work both online and offline. Include some form of Christmas present in the idea to prompt response.
Over the last year the agency had taken steps to offer online services alongside traditional offline services. This included the ability to film and edit digital video, build forms and design and build websites… no mean feat for what was once known as a traditional DM agency. We decided that the big rush to become Christmas No.1 would be a fun way to show off our skills to our clients… so we created an alternative Christmas No.1s competition with staff starring in their own pop videos and singing their favourite Christmas songs. Visitors to the site could then vote for their favourite and be entered into a draw to win an IPOD Touch. We sent out 300 cards, and had over 150 entries into the competition, giving us a response rate of well over 50%. With one very lucky person then going on to win an IPOD Touch!
Merry Christmas from Lowe Roche, Toronto: HOLIDAY BUTTONS (2006)
Because in this magical time of goodwill and cheer, it’s easy to lose sight of what makes this season truly special: controversy.
Merry Christmas from Leo Burnett, Milan: THE JUST BEFORE CHRISTMAS PARTY (2005)
Merry Christmas from Creature, Seattle: CREATURE TOE HOLIDAY GIFT (2008)
Merry Christmas from Young & Rubicam, New York: THE UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS (2010)
Y&R NY launched a new website called “The Ungrateful Bastards.” If you received a gift during the holidays that you don’t want (and who didn’t?), you can visit this site and trade for someone else’s unwanted gift. “Because one man’s stupid, unwanted holiday gift is another man’s treasure.”
Merry Christmas from Saatchi & Saatchi, Slovenia: GREEN SANTA (2009)
Y&R NY launched a new website called “The Ungrateful Bastards.” If you received a gift during the holidays that you don’t want (and who didn’t?), you can visit this site and trade for someone else’s unwanted gift. “Because one man’s stupid, unwanted holiday gift is another man’s treasure.”
Merry Christmas from Recreate.lu, Luxembourg: XMAS ROAD SIGNS (2010)
Nice little guerrilla action noticed in the streets of Luxembourg. Road signs have been discretely decorated in Christmas fashion. Charming initiative in this holiday season.
Merry Christmas from 180 Amsterdam: CHRISTMAS MESSAGE (2007)
The Christmas card is a light-hearted attempt to contribute to current debates raging about multiculturism, secularism and the true meaning of Christmas. It’s also an appropriate greeting from an agency that boasts over 24 nationalities.
Recipients are invited to assemble their own nativity scene from an empty stable and an accompanying sticker-sheet that features a whole mélange of characters. Choose Santa over Joseph or a Burka-clad woman over Mary. Further options include an array of gift bearers, animals, stars and gifts (many of which are courtesy of the agency’s clients). The broad selection guarantees endless fun and limited offence.
The Christmas message was sent out to clients, colleagues, partner agencies and competitors as a funny way to spread Christmas cheer and also awareness of the agency’s ability to execute an idea in an irreverent and entertaining way.
The Christmas card created a stir and was noticed and appreciated in a season that generally is drowned in clutter..
USA – The original
A Coca-Cola vending machine is transformed into a happiness machine delivering “doses” of happiness. Where will happiness strike next?
The Coca-Cola Happiness Machine made an appearance at the Kansas Union on the University of Kansas campus Monday, October 25, 2010.
The Ohio Union had a special vending machine provided by Coca-Cola on November 8, 2010. Open Happiness! As always, it was a great day at the Ohio Union!
Bowen-Thompson Student Union, Bowling Green State University, November 10, 2010
Coca-Cola is unleashing happiness again, this time in the UK! The much-anticipated sequel to the global internet sensation — the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine which caught the world’s imagination earlier this year with one million views in the first week alone.
A Coca-Cola Happiness machine found it’s way to Byporten shopping mall in Oslo to bring some happiness to the Norwegians!
Brazil, MTV 20th Anniversary Event
Rio de Janeiro
Thapar University, Patiala
DAV College, Chandigarh
How Coca-Cola created It’s Happiness Machine (Interview)
By Meaghan Edelstein
Most big brands don’t share the secrets behind how they create hugely successful web videos. For the first time ever, Coke executives and leaders at Definition 6, the agency responsible for the award-winning “Happiness Machine” video, reveal the secret ingredients that made it such a success.
Global Senior Brand Manager for Coca-Cola, AJ Brustein, Definition 6 Director of Interactive Strategy, Paul McClay and Definition 6 Creative Director Paul Iannacchino take us through the making of Coke’s “Happiness Machine.”
Coming up with a Brilliant Idea
Q: What was Coke’s goal? What was Coke looking for when they decided to create a web video?
Brustein: Coke’s original goal was to beef up its digital activation platform.The plan was to release seven different pieces of content, iPhone and social media applications, wallpaper screen savers and a video that we hoped would go viral. “The Happiness Machine” web video started out as just a piece of digital content, a dose of happiness.
Q: How did your team come up with the “Happiness Machine” concept?
Iannacchino: The process started with a large brainstorming session. Three ideas turned into a pitch that was taken back to Coke and “The Happiness Machine” was selected. Over the course of sixty days we used story boards to refine the piece. We had a strong core idea, but needed to develop the story. Our device was the Coke machine. Location, we needed to be entrenched in Coke’s demographic. Finally we had to ask ourselves, how is the narrative going to play out? How will we get people to approach the machine? How will we make it appear as normal as possible? And, how do we get escalation?
McClay: We came up with the idea over Falafel sandwiches on a sunny deck. It was a fun collaboration. The brainstorming and ideation began with a well-defined framework of constraints and set of objectives provided by Coke. Otherwise we were given free reign. We wanted to provide a message that would resonate with the target audience.
3 Tips for coming up with a Brilliant Idea
- A good story takes time to develop. Take the time to brainstorm your idea and let it develop into something people will relate to and want to share, Iannacchino said.
- Look at videos online to see what’s successful and what isn’t. Most often the most successful web videos have something that provokes a reaction, Brustein said.
- The brainstorming process has to be fun, light hearted and uncontrolled. You never really know when a good idea is going to come up. Often the best ideas end up being the small snippets that came up throughout the process, McClay said.
What to Do with Your Brilliant Idea
Q: After Coke approved the “Happiness Machine,” what was the next step? How did the idea shape into a real experience?
Brustein: Coke’s goal was to create an organic experience. Other than the janitor loading the machine, nothing was scripted. If the video had been scripted, it wouldn’t have had the same effect. The girl mouthing “Oh My God,” students helping each other lift the huge sub, hugging the Coke machine — these true moments are what gave the video life.
Q: How did you create an organic reaction?
Iannacchino: Coke wanted the machine to be magical but didn’t want to reveal the secret behind the magic. To accomplish this we had to show it was a normal Coke machine. The janitor unlocked the machine leaving the door wide open while he loaded bottles of Coke inside. This created a misdirect for the audience, leaving everyone to believe the machine was authentic. Setting up the scene this way helped create an organic reaction which relayed the magic of the brand.
Q: People may think the success of this video was due to Coke giving away free stuff to college students. Do you believe this is true?
Iannacchino: We would argue that it was the element of surprise, not that somebody got animal balloons or two Cokes instead of one. What Coke really gave away was a sense of happiness which created an emotional connection with the brand. Students involved in this video were caught up in their everyday lives, and this little moment touched them. We used free stuff to surprise people but what we gave away was happiness and a smile. The key is engagement, whether you were there or just watching, free stuff was just the catalyst.
McClay: Giving away free stuff wasn’t what resonated with the audience at the end of the day. After doing testing we found it was the students’ expressions of happiness and the way they reacted that people enjoyed. You can film people being given free stuff all day long and it will fall flat on the audience. The way people react is what matters.
3 Tips for Executing your Idea
- Simplicity and starting with a great idea is the key. You have to get it out of your head that if you make it they will watch it, Iannacchino said.
- Brainstorm. Once your team feels strongly about an idea, challenge one another to make it better. You can always improve the idea up until the day you shoot, Iannacchino added.
- Where you have a wide dispersed team it’s important for everyone to be looped in, briefed and approving things through the entire process so there is always forward momentum with positive energy, McClay said.
Putting it all Together
Q: How did you put it all together?
Iannacchino: The first thirty days we ramped up into production. The web video was set to launch January 1, 2010 and we began shooting in early December. We took a working Coke vending machine and re-built it to do the things we wanted it to. There wasn’t a big budget for this project — mostly sweat equity.
Q: How did you pick the location?
Iannacchino: Location was key. We had to find a space that was entrenched in Coke’s demographic. We knew we wanted a college campus but it couldn’t be just any campus. The college we picked had to be Coke affiliated, on board with our idea with heavy foot traffic by students and have a space that would allow for the important element of secrecy.
St. John’s University ended up being the perfect location. We built a secret room in their cafeteria over a weekend so it looked like construction to the students. Because we did it this way no one asked any questions.
Q: What were some of the challenges you faced?
Iannacchino: Going back and tweaking the story, finding the perfect location, and building of the actual “Happiness Machine.” Lots of things didn’t work but that was okay. Imagine a eight by fifteen foot room for two days, with five cameras, planning for the worst and hoping for the best!
SECRET: The sub — we only had one, so there was one shot to get it right. The giant sub ended up being the item that punctuated the story.
2 Tips for Putting it All Together
- Technology and digital space, as well as equipment, are cheap and accessible. Use this to your advantage, Iannacchino said.
- Be invested in your idea. Plan and prepare to execute your video well, Iannacchino added.
Getting It to Go Viral
Q: How much did Coke spend to promote the video?
Brustein: Coke spent zero on promoting “The Happiness Machine.” One status update was posted on Coke’s Facebook Page, one tweet and that was it. Within a day the video was picked up by bloggers and it spread from there. Of course we could have bought views but the experiment succeeded without any promotion.
Q: What was the process to get the video to go viral?
Iannacchino: We uploaded the web video to Coke’s YouTube channel on day one. The video then moved through the advertising trades before it picked up steam with consumers. In the first five days there were seven hundred thousand visits and in the first week one million. It hit the top of the viral video chart that week.
Q: Why do you think “The Happiness Machine” video went viral?
McClay: Something being viral wasn’t the strategy, but instead it was a possible outcome. The strategy was to produce great creative content that resonated and wasn’t a hard hitting commercial. We wanted it to have pass-along value and never intended to seed it with paid dollars. It was all about the exercise of producing creative video for online distribution. We aimed for something the audience would use and enjoy.
Q: How can other brands increase web video distribution?
McClay: Several tactical things need to be accomplished in order to get distribution. Getting bloggers to post about your video, tweets and Facebook mentions are just a few ways. But the big spikes happen when the video hits the homepage of YouTube or Yahoo.
Getting featured comes down to whether your video is creative, which is dependent upon the perception of the decision makers. The number of views is also critical. If you can create pass-along value it will increase your views. People like to share humor. When something makes me laugh, I think my friend will laugh too.
2 Tips for Getting a Video to Go Viral
- Spreadable video is important; put the same effort into your creative ideation as you would a television commercial and you will produce some amazing content. Don’t think small because the aspect ratio is, Iannacchino said. Push creative boundaries.
- If your strategy is to go viral from the outset, then it’s likely to fail, McClay said.
The key ingredients, as always, are imagination and hard work. Both Coke and Definition 6 put an enormous amount of creativity, time and energy into “The Happiness Machine.” “One thing to take a way is that it wasn’t a fluke,” Iannacchino said. “A lot of work went into it.”
The “Happiness Machine” video, the result of a collaboration between Coca-Cola and integrated interactive marketing agency Definition 6, features a Coca-Cola vending machine transformed to deliver surprising “doses” of happiness to unsuspecting college students. Chris Yates did a video interview with Chris Thornton the CMO of Defition 6.
Agency: Definition 6, Atlanta
Executive Creative Director John Harne
Director: Paul Iannacchino Jr.