Coca-Cola’s 4 keys to viral video success

It’s all about making people happy—and giving them content they feel they have to share with their friends.

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But it’s Coke, after all—a multinational behemoth with annual revenue of $35 billion. All it had to do was flood the planet with oceans of paid promotions, right?

Actually, no. The company got its YouTube plug to go viral on a promotional budget available to any struggling nonprofit: nothing.

The key is the content—and making people happy, said Coke senior global brand manager A.J. Brustein and Paul McClay, director of strategy and media at Definition 6, the beverage maker’s marketing agency. The two spoke at Ragan’s Corporate Communicators Conference on Wednesday.

The success wasn’t bad for a campaign that began as an experiment to answer a question: “Can we create Coca-Cola content which goes viral based on the merit of the work alone?” Brustein said.

The Happiness Machine

The video shows a Coke machine handing out drinks and, in some cases, pizzas and submarine sandwiches to surprised and delighted non-actors.

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