Happiness starts with a smile – Coca-Cola

What does Coca-Cola sell, “Beverage” or “Happiness”?

This Marketing Moment is about one of the many amazing Ad Campaigns from Coca-Cola, ‘Happiness starts with a smile’. The video is about a social experiment involving a man stepping on a commuter train packed with people. He stands in the middle of the car and stares at a tablet with earbuds in there. Suddenly he starts laughing. Then he laughs harder and louder — and just proceeds to laugh.

Fellow commuters look at him in amazement (and perhaps a little judgement). Then, as his laughter intensifies, the smiles start creeping through their faces. All the staring makes the man completely unphased, because he continues to laugh hard for quite a while. Soon enough, the smiles of the onlookers get bigger, and eventually also turn to laughter.

Coca Cola used an interesting insight from a research that whenever we hear someone laughing, a part of our brain triggers an automatic response of a smile or a laugh; and used this insight to synchronise so well with its Brand Personality which is about spreading Happiness.

The emphasis on brand over product is a significant part of Coca-Cola ‘s success. Coke sells no drink in a bottle, sells “happiness” in a bottle. With thousands of different products and packaging designs varying across regions, it would be challenging to manage a global marketing plan focussing on the products themselves. Coke aims instead at offering customers the experience and lifestyle associated with its brand.

Making human connections, staying creative while keeping basic concepts true and creating branded experiences are all global marketing strategies that have led to Coca-Cola ‘s status as a pioneer in the industry.

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