It’s official: happiness has struck Vilnius, Lithuania.
For the latest installment in the "Where Will Happiness Strike Next?" series, Coca-Cola transformed a concrete city square into a lush, green park and invited passers-by to kick back, take off their shoes and enjoy an unexpected moment of happiness on a sunny day.
In the whimsical film, a red Coca-Cola van “rolls out” a contour bottle-shaped plot of turf grass and a few trees, creating a temporary green space in an otherwise drab, gray area and surprising urbanites with a rare opportunity to connect with nature. A vending machine entices the crowd to trade in their shoes for an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Picnic baskets, kites, frisbees, dogs and guitars add to the pop-up park's carefree vibe.
"Feeling the grass under your feet is one of life's little pleasures,” says Mark Bernath, executive creative director for Wieden+Kennedy Amsterdam, which created the film. “Provoking people to get that feeling and using one of life's other little pleasures, a Coke, as bait created a nice and surprising double dose of unexpected happiness.”
The candid shoot, which took place in August in Vilnius' Europa Square, captured locals' authentic reactions. Leva Leleshiene from Coca-Cola Central and Southern Europe said the stunt proves that the power of big creative ideas often lies in their simplicity.
“Turning a familiar place into an oasis of enjoyment truly explores the idea of shared happiness,” she explains. “This film projects a live experience where consumers are at the very heart of it, so it's even more affecting with a great degree of authenticity.”
The project is leaving a sustainable legacy, too. The turf used to create the temporary park will be donated to a local children’s home in Vilnius.
"Where Will Happiness Strike Next?" debuted in the United States in January 2010 when a Coca-Cola vending machine dispensed pizza, flowers and other fun surprises on a college campus in New York. Coca-Cola Happiness Machine has since logged more than 5.5 million views on YouTube and inspired the Coca-Cola Happiness Truck, Coca-Cola Happiness Store and more than 100 other films from more than 50 countries around the world.
"We love the direction this film takes the franchise,” says Christy Amador of Coke’s global content excellence team. “It’s such a refreshing way to bring people a moment of happiness and build anticipation for the next idea. And by watching it, you can see just how much fun the event really was. You couldn't help but smile – and take off your shoes – as it all unfolded.”
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