“Smile Back” – the third
installment of the "Where Will Happiness Strike Next?" film series – ended up
being a lot more work than expected. Since we wanted to stay as true
as possible to our initial vision of ensuring the people truly own this
platform, we crowdsourced the entire process, from conception to execution.
Just as we set out to "test the power of our fans" in 2010 with "Happiness Machine," we wanted to see how far we could get using a nontraditional, crowd-based approach with “Smile Back.” Every decision was made, every piece of film taken, every idea generated through the "crowd."
Idea Generation: We reached out to Victors & Spoils, a newly formed firm looking to disrupt the traditional agency model by relying solely on the crowd for creative content. They accepted the brief and pitched ideas before narrowing the list down to 10 proposals. We selected three to advance to the next round.
Idea Selection: We put the three ideas up for a vote on Spark City – an internal collaboration platform at Coke – and invited all employees around the world to vote for their favorite. "Smile Back" emerged as the clear favorite.
Location Selection: We truly believe that few things are stronger than the power of a smile, and that a smile is universal. So, we wanted to convey that with a global film capturing people in all types of situations, all reacting to a smile. But rather than us just picking the locations, we wanted our crowd of marketers to choose and volunteer where smiles could spread the furthest. We shared the idea, the know-how and a small budget to help get the filming done. We wanted five markets but ended up with six – Canada, Jamaica, Pakistan, England, Chile and Tunisia. That made us smile :-)
Filming and Production: We then partnered with MOFILM, an agency with a film and music crowdsourcing platform, to put the production feet on the ground. They helped crowdsource local directors in each country and find an editor to put it all together. They did a great job working across all countries to assess and edit the footage, add an iconic original song, and eventually produce the 2-minute film.
We ended up with "Smile Back." Crowdsourcing was not about saving money, making headlines or disrupting existing practices – it was about ensuring we stayed true to the ethos of "Where Will Happiness Strike Next?" By leveraging different crowds, we were able to create surprising moments of authentic happiness and let the true power of the smile shine through.
We hope you enjoy it… and that you’ll share the film, a Coke and a smile with those around you.AJ Brustein (@ajbrustein) is innovation accelerator director at Coca-Cola, and Christy Amador (@christyamador) is a digital brand strategist on the company’s global content excellence team.
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