Reflection #2 / JOMC 101-002

The ad campaign I chose to write about the Coke Happiness campaign.  The three media sources I will examine are 1) the Coke “What Is Happiness” website: http://us.coca-cola.com/happiness/, 2) the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suinTuPNxsk, and 3) the Coca-Cola Happiness Facebook page.  The key sales point across all of these ads is essentially that consuming Coke products will bring a little happiness to your day.  Their secondary messages state the importance of choosing happiness, rather than waiting for it to happen to you.  On their website, they go into detail about this, as well as provide happy music, quotes, and facts about happy people.  The YouTube video of the Happiness Machine shows a hand sending coke products and various other random prize items out of a giant Coke machine, thus brightening their days a little bit.  The Coke Happiness Facebook page posts tips, and articles related to enjoying Coke better as well as increasing happiness overall.  They also post new information about upcoming products.

The intended target audience across all three platforms is everyone who drinks Coke products, and anyone who wants to be happy.  (The website and the facebook page, of course, require literacy as well.)  The structure Coke uses for this ad campaign is a call to action: take control of your own happiness, make it happen.  This makes the emotional appeal clear as well, as it uses health & well-being, and connects it to an appetite for its products, fostering a more personal connection to the product.  The overall campaign uses a myth-analysis approach, examining what we know about what really makes us happy and challenging its elusiveness.  The Coke website lays out details leading the consumer to believe that it may really be as easy to be happy as choosing to, as well as doing/consuming things that make you happy.  The video does a fine job of illustrating this concept, while the Facebook page keeps current posts on these issues, reaffirming its personal connection with consumers.

This ad campaign has a wonderfully positive theme, but is deceptive in leading others to believe that happiness can be as easy as opening a bottle of Coke.  Lasting happiness is not as easy as that, though many believe, and science has produced evidence that choosing to be happy is a great factor in actually being happy.  I like this campaign for its positive messages, for raising awareness that in this dreary world, happiness is possible and attainable.  I just feel that Coke should be a bit more wary about associating material possession with being happy.

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