By now you’ve seen, read about and possibly shared with others the viral hit of the week: Coca Cola’s Happiness Machine. In fact, you’ve probably already got requests from clients asking for something like that for their brand, too.
And who wouldn’t want one? The video got over a million views on YouTube in fewer than 10 days. Far more when you consider it’s been embedded in hundreds if not thousands of blogs. Jump all the way to page 48 of Google’s search results when you plug in “Coca Cola Happiness Machine” and it’s still there: stories, articles, video. In fact when this was written Google delivered nearly 1.5 million search results for the aforementioned phrase.
Of course doing something this visible with little or no money behind it is easier said than done. For starters you need great content. The Coke video comes close, but it’s not as if it’s an original idea. It simply takes Burger King’s Freak out from a couple of years ago and turns it inside out.
It helps that the story line is amusing and upbeat. After all in an economy like this one a message of hope (and free stuff) will always trump despair. But the real trick to success? Become a brand that’s loved. You could make a similar video or deliver the same story line for a less admired brand and you would not see the numbers generated by Happiness Machine.
If you need any more convincing, look at the buzz around Apple’s tablet, or whatever it’s called, which we’ll know in less than 24 hours. Thousands of fans have blogged about it, imagined what it will be, worked themselves into a frenzy in anticipation.
Or consider Zappos (a client of ours). People write love stories about the brand, share them, pass them around.
I like Coke’s video. But I worry that too many brands will once again attempt to replicate the tactic instead of changing their behavior, making a great product, giving more than they take. The one lesson every marketer should take away from Coca Cola isn’t that they figured out how to make a viral video. It’s this: look at everything you do and ask whether it will make your community of users and prospects believe you care enough about them for them to care about you. That’s what Coke has really done.
What are you doing to make sure that your brand’s loved?