Coca-Cola, Wieden+Kennedy Try Again to End Cyberbullying

By Patrick Coffee 

Coca-Cola may have chosen three WPP agencies (most prominently Ogilvy New York) to create its next big global campaign, but the company still works with Wieden+Kennedy, and that shop’s Portland office was behind its latest promotional effort: the “Happiness Hackathon.”

Like W+K’s Super Bowl ad, this one focuses on bullying…specifically cyberbullying, or the sort of thing that no one who works in advertising would ever do.

The work itself is a short documentary about the one-day event in New York, which involved “Fifteen teens from around the country” who came together to “create ideas to end cyberbullying.”

Sadly, Coca-Cola will not succeed, no matter how much time or money they dedicate to the effort or how many views the resulting work gets on Facebook.

The video itself is very upbeat, but it doesn’t tell us about any big ideas regarding the project’s goal of ending (or at least minimizing) the bullying epidemic. The app seems cool, especially since it was designed so quickly. But it just helps people send happy thoughts to friends, complete with an image of a Coke bottle. It only works if you’ve already bought a soda with a QR code, and you won’t find it anywhere in the app store…which makes sense because it goes against everything we know about digital/social media.

Going online under an assumed name to write terrible things about other people who are not celebrities, politicians, business leaders or some other type of public figure is a shitty thing to do. And people are going to continue doing it.