Sunday, July 26, 2015

Selling Happiness (even if it is unhealthy)

‘Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned worn or consumed. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude’
-       DenisWaitley 

Happiness is a serious global thing. And it has nothing to do with a spiritual experience.
The Gross National Happiness, introduced by the tiny South Asian nation Bhutan in the 1970s is  measured by nine nationally collated criterion — psychological wellbeing, health, education, time use, cultural diversity and resilience, good governance, community vitality, ecological diversity and resilience, and living standards.

There is a world ranking of 158 nations on the Happiness scale. The latest World Happiness Report  names the five happiest nations: Switzerland, Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Canada. The Americans are only the 15th happiest nation in the world.
SUSI2015 friends experiencing happiness
The least happy nations in the world are Togo, Burundi, Syria, Benin and Rwanda, it is no coincidence that they are the poorest too.
At the world of Coca Cola happiness has less to do with such mundane things as GDP per capita and life expectancy. Probably because drinking Coke regularly does not increase your life expectancy.
Happiness can be achieved just by exchanging a bottle of Coke — even among citizens of countries like Indian and Pakistan. The 2014 advertisement showing citizens of both countries rejoicing with a Coke was an instant hit across the borders.
Coca Cola has been doing it for generations. Selling happiness.
Coca Cola’s association with happiness is more than a century old. It probably also gave them an opportunity to deflect from the idea that it was just a ‘liquid refresher’ an idea which would definitely become stale with time. But Happiness never does.
One of the earliest slogans was Coca Cola ‘Revives and Sustains’ in 1905.
Happy Govinda
However the formal presentation of the Happiness theme was in 1971 during the height of the cold war. Coke took hundreds of teenagers of all possible ethnicities on a hillside in Italy to sing a song; bring harmony to the world by serving everybody a Coke. As easy as that. 
Happy Irfan
In 2009 when Coke decided to reach out to markets outside USA and Europe it leaned back on the happiness campaign again. This time the theme was Open Happiness. According to Chuck Borghese, a former Coca Cola creative executive, who spoke to the SUSI2015 scholars, it was a concept that transcended cultures. It also saved Coke the onerous task of defining its taste.
The iconic World of Coke in Baker Street Atlanta, overlooking the splendid Olympic Millennial Park celebrates Happiness spectacularly.

Happy Mandy
Happy Bruce 
The 12-minute film at the World of Coca-Cola, which can be viewed exclusively in the theater there, is a celebration of love, laughter and fun weaved around people of different cultures and age shot at spectacular locations across the world. Among the nine stories of celebration is an Indian family too and the spectacular Diwali fireworks — outlining the status of the Indian market as a very important component in the world of Coke.
The World of Coca Cola sells happiness for a fee — about $15 dollars and also offers you a collection of Made In China memorabilia at its store.
But what is a few dollars for true happiness. 
For Coca-Cola is not just a soft drink, it is the key to true happiness :)


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