The big game is this Sunday, and of course it’s more than a sporting event- it’s advertising’s biggest stage. Aside from paying big bucks for commercial airtime, you can bet that brands will be vying to make the biggest social media splash during game time as well. Coca Cola is hoping to lead the pack in a positive direction and has already started working to spark interest through #makeithappy.
During the first quarter, a 60-second commercial from Coca Cola will address online negativity, ending with the hashtag #MakeItHappy and a call to action meant to promote positivity both on and offline. While the spot will not be released ahead of time, the company is promoting four online-only vignettes this week, across Coke’s social media channels, featuring people who’ve encountered online negativity, and people who see spreading happiness as their mission. The celebrity “gets” for this campaign include Danica Patrick, Michael Sam and Kid President.
Coke says it’s all part of their brand identity. “Coca-Cola has always stood for optimism, uplift and inclusion … and these core values have been a common thread in our advertising through the years,” says Andy McMillin, VP and GM, Coca-Cola Trademark Brands. Last year’s “It’s Beautiful” campaign was seen by many, but didn’t fail to stir controversy, as it not only featured “America the Beautiful” sung in different languages, but also showed what may have been the first gay parents depicted in a Super Bowl ad. This year, it’s early yet, but most of the feedback seems to be “rah coke and happiness”:
— The Beat ATX (@thebeatatx) January 26, 2015
…some of it is already a little less than positive.
— Genie Gratto (@egratto) January 26, 2015
Of course, maybe staying just a little bit edgy and controversial is part of the brand identity as well. Or maybe we’re being cynical. After all, Coca Cola is also partnering with DoSomething.org both before and after the game, in an effort to mobilize the organization’s 3.3 million strong community to help spread the word about working to make the Internet a happier place. Maybe anything that breaks through the pervasive cloud of online negativity is a worthwhile venture.
So what do you think? Does an uplifting message lose its meaning when it’s a calculated marketing scheme? Or is any push toward positivity a good thing? Does Coke’s new #makeithappy campaign make you happy?