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Coca-Cola Digitalise Happiness

Drink of a Thousand Smiles

nymag.com

Coca-Cola have always been kind of ingenious where their advertising is concerned, from bottles with your name on them to basically reinventing Christmas. They’ve done their utmost to make the brand so synonymous with joy and happiness that you almost forget that the act of drinking a soft drink is unlikely to have any positive effect on your mood. Other than making you belch, which is obviously hilarious.

In a new venture, the colossal drinks company have registered URLs for all the emojis relating to happiness, from the classic :) to the versatile but nonsensical :P all the way to the overpoweringly arousing ;). Typing any of them into a URL bar with .ws as a domain will lead you to ‘emoticoke.com’, which allows you to build an emoji URL of your very own, combing 3 different symbols. The link can lead to any website of your choosing.

The campaign was spearheaded by Coca-Cola Puerto Rico, so for the time being it’s all exclusively in Spanish (and doesn’t work anywhere else), but if it takes off in Puerto Rico it could well become a global thing. Emojis are, after all, kind of a universal language, despite being as open to interpretation as they are, especially where the younger audience are concerned, the people Coke ultimately want to reach.

adweek.com

The .ws domain name (actually the extension for Samoa) is used because the symbols aren’t accepted as URLs on most standard domains. Coke claim that the letters were chosen because they can stand for ‘We Smile’ but I think it’s a safe bet it’s more to do with the former than the latter.

Coke could use the points, to be honest; their last charm offensive was centered on the #MakeItHappy hashtag, which involved encouraging people to tag negative tweets so that they could turn them into cute ASCII images of animals and whatever else. It backfired when Gawker caught wind of it and used a Twitter bot to generate a whole series of images made up of lettering from Hitler’s Mein Kampf.

More shockingly, Coca-Cola company offices were attacked by protesters in Chilpancingo in Mexico last week. Gas bombs were thrown, causing substantial damage and injuring several people. Two company employees were also briefly held hostage by the demonstrators. Coke might well be trying on some level to improve its image in Central and South America in the wake of this incident, as well as simply focus-testing a potential worldwide campaign.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF


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Coca-Cola Digitalise Happiness Reviewed by Callum Davies on Monday, February 23, 2015 Rating: 5
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