Company: The Coca-Cola Company

Campaign: Happiness Factory “Open Happiness” (2006 – 2016)

Cost (Starlight Runner 2008 – 2010): US $2 million

Production: Television commercials, animated shorts, music, web sites, app games, comics

Key Performance Indicators: Coca-Cola sales, increased target market draw on various media platforms, media “buzz,” industry recognition (awards)

Results: 7% bump on global sales of Coca-Cola (2008 – 2009), 4% bump 2010; “Open Happiness” 5-note musical theme became a signature for the brand until 2016; Cannes Lions Award for Best Advertisement Happiness Factory & Happiness Factor: The Movie; 34 million YouTube & Facebook hits (700% spike); custom web sites visited by millions; Coke’s first game apps; hit song “Open Happiness” by Cee-Lo Green, charting in the U.S., several other countries, and hitting #1 in China. Coca-Cola Company employs Liquid Storytelling (transmedia technique) for subsequent global campaigns; widely considered to be the most successful advertising campaign in the history of the brand.

Based on a single 60-second commercial developed by Wieden+Kennedy and Psyop, SLR was asked to create a vast story world that could manifest across every media platform, and be localized to markets around the world. SLR generated a pitch bible for presentation to CEO Muhtar Kent and bottlers worldwide at the company’s annual conference, and gained unanimous approval. SLR then vastly expanded the Happiness Factory story world, tying it intrinsically to brand values and aspirational themes. CMO Jonathan Mildenhall then commissioned SLR to act as an IP clearinghouse and producer of content for executions across the world.

  • Happiness Factory Universe – creating and documenting the entire canonical story world and brand essence
  • Happiness Factory: The Movie – 4-minute TV commercial
  • Inside the Happiness Factory – 7-minute Coke Museum introduction
  • Happiness Factory 3: The Great Yawn – TV commercial
  • Happiness Factory: The Great Happyfication – TV commercial
  • Open Up Some Happiness by Cee-Lo – global Top-40 song
  • Happiness Factory Now Hiring – web site
  • Happiness Factory: Mortar Men – app game
  • Happiness Factory: Flash Games – web games
  • Happiness Factory Advertorial – magazine text stories
  • Happiness Factory Comics Insert – magazine comics stories
  • Happiness Factory: The Pemberton Saga – sequel campaign (unproduced)

“Transmedia helped us understand how the story arc and narrative of the Happiness Factory could evolve over time and how it could be used through different channels. The beauty of the Open Happiness platform was that it could promote product and human values at the same time. All done, through the brilliant power of transmedia storytelling. Jeff Gomez and Starlight Runner Entertainment produced gold.”

Jonathan Mildenhall,
former VP Global Advertising Strategy,
The Coca-Cola Company