What friends will do for a free Coke

Coca Cola have taken their interactive vending machine idea to a new level, quite literally. Building on the brands strategy of turning their most famous touchpoint, a vending machine into an interactive and social content producer, they’ve created the Friendship Machine. Cute little idea to show what friends will do to get a free Coke.

Another example of how a simple social idea can surprise and delight, which for Coke, is a key part of their brand strategy.

Youth Interview with Greer- team WOW finalist for Coke Expedition 206

I wrote a post a few days back on Coke Expedition 206. They’ve got 3 teams of 3 people, one team will be chosen as Happiness Ambassadors to travel around the world for a year in 2010 spreading happiness in every country Coke is sold in. It’s a global expedition on Coke (excuse the bad pun).  It’s a cool idea that really only a brand like Coke could pull off. I was lucky enough to get in touch with a fellow Sydney-sider Greer, who is one of the finalists in  team WOW who are currently in second place with 38% of votes.  She’s got some interesting perspectives on Happiness and why the expedition will be valuable to her (if her team wins). So vote for Greer in Team WOW. Here’s some thoughts from Greer on the Expedition, Happiness, youth culture and what she stands for.

Tell me how you got involved in Expedition 206?

I was lucky enough to be on the mailing list for Lonely Planet suppliers as I had sold them a travel video about Italy. When Coke put out the call for applicants they did it through companies/agencies who would be able to find people with relevant experience for the project; it was not private just targeted. The initial job application did not state the company that you would represent, it was very secretive. It was not until the final 18 were invited to go to Atlanta for a week long selection process did we find out that is was Coca-cola. I, along with 17 others spent a busy week in Atlanta. We did team building exercises, filming expeditions, under pressure video editing as well as psychological testing. On the second last day, we found which which 9 had been selected as finalists and who was in which team. We then had approximately 24 hours to film and put together our promotional videos, when I finally got on the plane home you can imagine how exhausted I was! It was a roller coaster experience. we got to know that other 17 people very well and formed some great friendships. When we found out who was in the final 9 and who had not made it, it was bitter sweet. Happy to be included but also thinking of your new friends who had not been selected. Having 18 talented people to choose from I am sure the decision about the teams would have been very tough to make.


Team WOW from Coke Expedition 206

What does ‘happiness’ mean to you and why do you believe it’s important for global youth?

I am happy when I am content with the things I have happening in my life and I am able to just relax & enjoy them. Everyone suffers pressures whether it be from work, family, peers or themselves and I think happy people are the people who can accept or ignore those pressures and just be content with who they are. This is a tough concept for youth as I know when I was a little younger I was constantly aspiring to be, have or do something other than what I was, and that can make it harder to enjoy the ‘here & now’. Of course it is still important to have goals and work towards them but smell the roses along the way and live in the moment not in the future.

 Is there a ‘happiness’ issue/crisis?

I believe happiness has always been and will always be an important issue. It seems to be a simple concept but in fact it is very complex. It is not just about enjoying happy moments but also about living in a happy/positive state of mind. Being happy does not need to depend on your economic situation, and I think by being able to ask people in so many countries from so many walks of life; will give us a great understanding about what truly makes people happy.

Why do you think ‘happiness’ is so important for global youth culture?

I am not an expert, but when you hear stories about youth suicide and depression; it does make me very concerned. As youths our lives should, in theory, be less complicated and more carefree than adult life, but so many youths to not have a healthy state of mind and do not enjoy their younger years. In privileged societies such as our own it would appear that we are less content with all we have than those in poorer countries who are content with far less. I think it is very important to address this and help show youths how to be happy with less and how to be content with themselves.



Team WOW trying to become Happiness Ambassadors

How is it that two Aussies made the final 9? What do you think it is about Aussie youth that make us ‘happy’?

I can’t be sure how they picked us, though I think what appealed was our sense of humour and easy going nature.  Australians, generally speaking are a culture of people who are always ready to have a good time but we are also hard working. Internationally I think we are well liked by most other cultures; travelling, I never had a negative response towards Australia.

What’s your life mantra?

 My mantra is not very fancy, its very simple. It will all work out, one way or another. When ever things don’t seem to be going to plan, I just think ” Ah well, its going to work out somehow.”

Why do you think your team deserves to win over the other two teams?

 I’m not sure if its a matter of deserving it more, but I think our team is best suited for the trip. We will live in each others back pockets for 365 day to survive that you need to have the right personalities. I am very driven and love to be busy so I will adapt well to the hectic schedule of the trip. All three of us have high energy but also know when to buckle down and focus. We also have the perfect skill set between us; EZ (Erin) is the writer of the trio, Brendan and I both of plenty of video experience and we are all experienced using online technologies and blogging. I studied digital media at COFA and have technical knowledge as well as a creative eye. Aside from our skills we are all genuinely nice people. Working together so far we have all been under a lot of pressure and we have proven we can make quick and sensible decisions together. We all contribute and compromise to work together as a team. Being a prima dona on this expedition will just not work.

Complete these sentences…

I believe in…what goes around comes around

I am inspired by…people who rise above their circumstances.

I hope..to always be happy and enjoy my life.

I hate..feeling like I am wasting time.

I care….about other peoples feelings.

I wish….that’s a tough one because I wish can be something almost unattainable… I wish there was no war

My friends…are all important to me.

My dream….is to be able to live my life creatively, without feeling trapped by circumstance or finance.

The link to vote for our team is :  http://www.expedition206.com/TeamWow.aspx

And our facebook page is:  http://www.facebook.com/pages/Team-WOW/169501557448

An oldie but a goodie – Great creative brief led to great Coke work

It’s always great when you read a really simple and inspiring creative brief that led to awesome work. This is an abbreviated version of an old Wieden & Kennedy  brief from ’05 that led to the famous ‘Happiness Factory’ campaign and the ‘Coke Side of Life’ tagline. I love its simplicity and pointy-ness (if that’s a word), emotive language as well as the fact it gave creatives numerous meaty departure points for idea generation. It nails a key consumer issue that’s built out of a obvious objective of restoring global sales.

ISSUE: Coke has become a forgotten friend

CHALLENGE: Remind people of what makes Coke special

BRAND IDEA: Coke is the genuine taste of happiness


Coke is delicious and refreshing.

It won’t restore the ozone layer or solve world peace.

But it will lift your spirits, especially when things aren’t going your way,

And you need a little taste of happiness.

This is when only a Coke will do.


REAL & HONEST – one of a kind, refreshes your mind and body like no other

INTIMATE & PERSONAL – Coke is the ultimate connector – partake in simple life pleasures

FRIENDLIEST drink on earth

JOYFUL & UPLIFTING – Coke is the eternal optimist, a ‘can do’ attitude reminds us that a better tomorrow always awaits

Unfortunately Coke hasn’t really created an amazing global Coke campaign since this campaign. They need to return to this brief as much of their recent work is wallpaper.