Anatomy of a Viral Video: Coca-Cola – Happiness Machine

Coca Cola Content Marketing

Content marketing genius

The Coca-Cola Happiness Machine video is classic viral video craft at its finest. Just six seconds into the video, viewers are already being lured in by the promise of something surprising in the near future with, “We put a special coke machine in the middle of a college campus…” And the promise is delivered on at the 25 second mark as the first student begins mysteriously receiving more and more.

This also satisfies the surprise element of any viral video in a pleasant and friendly manner. Gifts to the unsuspecting are always a safe device for a viral video as it assures a positive outcome for the “victims” of the trick. Moreover, it builds a positive connection between the product and a jubilant atmosphere – a core campaign concept for Coca-Cola.

The video also keeps viewers on a gradually escalating level of excitement and surprise, as the gifts grow in both complexity and become less likely until the machine is offering pizzas and sandwiches.

This continuous escalation of the story is a central concept in viral video crafting. True, the viewer must be hooked within the first 10 seconds, but the story must unrelentingly escalate as well throughout the narrative to maintain viewer attention.

Overall, the video tell a great story – fun, engaging and light-hearted – with enough surprises to keep the viewer interested. Beyond that though, it manages to stay focused to keep the larger picture in mind. The shocking parts are not too shocking, instead having the overarching theme of goodwill and fun. It may get fewer views immediately for its lack of more severe shock value, but the advertiser is correct in playing the long game. Ultimately, a viral video’s success relies on being shared, rather than immediate views.

By creating a rich, friendly narrative – they have crafted something light and heart-warming which consumers will be eager to share with no risk of offending friends or work colleagues. Very often video producers will go too far in trying to shock people to elicit an immediate reaction. Coca-Cola’s more nuanced approach, by comparison, allows for more long-term viewing. Additionally, the ad lets the company stay true to its larger, traditional campaign messages like classic slogans “Enjoy” and “Life Tastes Good”. At over 6 million views, Coca-Cola has managed to craft a highly shareable video which dovetails with their traditional core marketing campaigns.

Click to watch a video and find out a bit more about the campaign.

 

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