Coke executives reveal the success behind their home run with their “Happiness Machine” web videos. Now THIS is a social media campaign they can be proud of! Go through the creative process to see how this idea came to fruition.

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Most big brands don’t share the secrets behind how they create hugely successful web videos. For the first time ever, Coke executives and leaders at Definition 6, the agency responsible for the award-winning “Happiness Machine” video, reveal the secret ingredients that made it such a success.

Global Senior Brand Manager for Coca-Cola, AJ Brustein, Definition 6 Director of Interactive Strategy, Paul McClay and Definition 6 Creative Director Paul Iannacchino take us through the making of Coke’s “Happiness Machine.”

Coming up with a Brilliant Idea


Q: What was Coke’s goal? What was Coke looking for when they decided to create a web video?

Brustein: Coke’s original goal was to beef up its digital activation platform.The plan was to release seven different pieces of content, iPhone and social media applications, wallpaper screen savers and a video that we hoped would go viral. “The Happiness Machine” web video started out as just a piece of digital content, a dose of happiness.

Q: How did your team come up with the “Happiness Machine” concept?

Iannacchino: The process started with a large brainstorming session. Three ideas turned into a pitch that was taken back to Coke and “The Happiness Machine” was selected. Over the course of sixty days we used story boards to refine the piece. We had a strong core idea, but needed to develop the story. Our device was the Coke machine. Location, we needed to be entrenched in Coke’s demographic. Finally we had to ask ourselves, how is the narrative going to play out? How will we get people to approach the machine? How will we make it appear as normal as possible? And, how do we get escalation?

McClay: We came up with the idea over Falafel sandwiches on a sunny deck. It was a fun collaboration. The brainstorming and ideation began with a well-defined framework of constraints and set of objectives provided by Coke. Otherwise we were given free reign. We wanted to provide a message that would resonate with the target audience.

3 Tips for coming up with a Brilliant Idea

  • A good story takes time to develop. Take the time to brainstorm your idea and let it develop into something people will relate to and want to share, Iannacchino said.
  • Look at videos online to see what’s successful and what isn’t. Most often the most successful web videos have something that provokes a reaction, Brustein said.
  • The brainstorming process has to be fun, light hearted and uncontrolled. You never really know when a good idea is going to come up. Often the best ideas end up being the small snippets that came up throughout the process, McClay said.

What to Do with Your Brilliant Idea


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Q: After Coke approved the “Happiness Machine,” what was the next step? How did the idea shape into a real experience?

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