Thursday, January 15, 2009

Optimism Part 2: From the Coke Side to Open Happiness

Both AdAge and the Wall Street Journal have written on it:

"Open Happiness" is the title of the new Coke campaign that will be on air in the U.S. from next week on. It is going to replace the "Coke Side of Life" that has been running since 2006.

The quest in weather Coke is tailing Pepsi with their JOY campaign is as AdAge points out a bit weird as the brand has been tapping into the Optimism issue since the 70s hilltop campaign and as I feel the "Coke side of life" campaign has summed that brand theme up really nice (after a lot of campaigns that felt more tactical and that had lost the core of optimism). The "Happiness Factory" has written Optimism all over it and I can only imagine the new campaign to add to this with new facets, new stories and a new (and I think weaker) claim.

Claims that focused on the Coke Optimism are plenty: Open Happiness (2009), The Coke Side of Life (2006), Life Tastes Good (2001), Have a Coke and a Smile (1979), Coke Adds Life (1976), I'd Like To Buy the World a Coke (1971)

But we also remember the rather product focussed ones: Drink Coca-Cola (1886), Delicious and Refreshing (1904), The Pause That Refreshes (1929), Things Go Better With Coke (1963), It's the Real Thing (1969), Coke Is It! (1982), Red, White and You (1986), Can't Beat the Real Thing (1990), Always Coca-Cola (1993).

The new campaign is oviously part of making marketing more efficient. Coke's cola volume slipped 3.5% in U.S. supermarkets, convenience stores, drug chains and similar venues during the first nine months of 2008, according to Beverage Digest. That continued a years-long decline amid competition from newer drinks like bottled teas and enhanced waters. Coke Classic's U.S. volume fell about 16% from 1998 through 2007.
"Open Happiness" should also offer a global campaign that does not need endless adaptation work in local markets. At the same time the European agencies will be reduced from 20 to 4 in order to create a more efficient "Coke Red European Network". (Never thought that they still work with more than the mentioned ones as W&K and McCann). As the Portland based W&K is home of the "open happiness" campaign we eagerly wait to see what they will air during Super Bowl - it is said to feature "a remix of an Elvis song, is expected to illustrate how people don't really talk anymore, thanks to gadgets like BlackBerrys. In the spot, a boy enters a diner and sits next to an ogre. The two reach for a Coke and, suddenly, the ogre turns into a pretty girl" as the WSJ quotes someone that seems to have seen it already.