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Art Installation Shows Power of British Optimism

By:  Unbottled Staff Feb 17, 2014
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The Power of Optimism

The artwork was built out of 10 different cubes which light up when positive words are shared on Twitter

Coca-Cola recently celebrated the UK’s resilient optimism by unveiling an innovative piece of artwork on London’s South Bank.

January is often written off as the gloomiest month of the year. It's cold and wet, the days are short and Christmas quickly fades into a distant memory. As an antidote, Coca-Cola commissioned artist David Boultbee to create a one-day installation, inspired by optimism.

Power of British Optimism

To give him food for thought, the Coca-Cola team conducted research into the nation’s mood. This showed that even in the darkest winter months, people’s thoughts remain overwhelmingly positive. Analyzing tweets sent by the UK’s 15 million active Twitter users over the last year, the research showed that positive tweets outnumbered negative by more than two to one.

Power of Optimism

The artwork, Power of Optimism, was built out of 10 large cubes, five of which were linked to a real-time feed of tweets sent across the UK. The cubes displayed 20 of the most regularly used positive words on Twitter, including "hope" and "proud", and lit up as they were tweeted throughout the day.

“It was interesting to see the results of Coca-Cola’s research, which showed that the British public is overwhelmingly optimistic in its use of social media," Boultbee said. "I was really keen to see how I could bring it to life as a piece of interactive artwork."

He adds: “Power of Optimism was designed to give a snapshot of the UK’s behavior on Twitter over the course of one day. We want to remind people just how many positive thoughts and feelings are being posted every second, and what better way to do this than using these messages to light up the South Bank.”

Reasons to Believe

The artwork and accompanying research was the culmination of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s popular Reasons to Believe campaign, which launched over the holidays. The campaign aims to put life’s positives in the spotlight and show that for all the bad in the world, there is also plenty of good. In particular, the research showed that for every use of a negative word, there were many more that were positive.

Bríd Drohan-Stewart, marketing activation director, Coca-Cola Great Britain, said, “It’s great to see that Brits are overwhelmingly using social media to spread messages of positivity. With 15 million active UK Twitter users, social media is clearly an important tool for people to share the little things that make them feel optimistic about the world: their ‘reasons to believe’. Even in the winter months, with the short days and miserable weather, it’s refreshing that people are maintaining a sunny outlook online.”