You are looking at archived content. The hot new stuff is happening at Veerle's blog 3.0. You should check it out!

Aug 24

Coca Cola - The Happiness Factory

2007 at 07.53 am posted by Veerle Pieters

Normally I don’t spend any time looking at advertising because I don’t watch live TV anymore. We own a HD recorder and we cut out all commercial blocks so that our favorite shows contains no mood spoilers. Once in a while a spot comes along that makes you forget it’s advertising.

The Happiness Factory

It all started with an animated spot made by Psyop for Coke and agency Wieden+Kennedy. Since launching in 2006, the original "Happiness Factory" has gone on to become the highest rated global spot The Coca-Cola Company has ever tested. The ad has won several awards including a "Silver Lion" at the 2007 Cannes advertising awards, the "Grand Prix Gold Prize" at the 2006 Epica Awards and most recently a nomination for a primetime commercial "Emmy" in the United States.

I think I watched this numerous times exploring the love and soul that went into making this story. You immediately notice that a lot of thought went into each character to make sure they add to the story-line. You can click the storyboard below to see it bigger and see how the ideas are drawn on paper.

Coca Cola - The Happiness Factory - storyboard

Coca Cola - The Happiness Factory - storyboard


Coca Cola - The Happiness Factory characters by Psyop

Coca Cola - The Happiness Factory characters by Psyop

In case you are wondering how I got those, they are from a great interview with Kylie Matulick and Todd Mueller of Psyop published on Motionographer. Most of this animation was made with Maya, After Effects, Flame and Photoshop. If you include preproduction, it took about 4 months in total to finish.


Now that you know about the spot, there is another really cool mockumentary that takes you behind the scenes to get to know the characters a little better. According to the Adverblog some of the voices are done by actual Coca-Cola employees. Each character has a unique voice and it's amazing how easily you get sucked into the story.

Happiness Factory - The Movie

Wait it's not done yet, the best has yet to come. It's true the folks over at Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam have once again conceptualized a great story to kick off phase two of "Coke Side Of Life" campaign. The movie uses "state-of-the-art" animation techniques and a team of over fifty 3D animators from Psyop! The story goes like this:

It was just another happy day in the Happiness Factory, the fantasy world that lives deep inside a Coca-Cola vending machine. The Chinoinks were busily dispensing Coke, the Cappers were capping and the Kissy Puppies were spreading love around the factory when suddenly disaster struck! The alarm bells rang, the red light flashed and the unthinkable happened - the "Happiness Factory" ran out of Coke!

This was launched last week at a online red carpet premiere event in Second Life. It was watched by an international crowd of nearly 100 glamorous avatars dressed in red carpet fashion, including Avril Lavigne and reporters from more than 16 countries worldwide. See Avril Lavigne at 'Happiness Factory - The Movie' premiere.

Avril Lavigne in Second Life

You can download a HD version of the movie "Happiness Factory" here. The site itself is only available for Taiwan now but I am sure more countries will be added soon. All this is truly a work of art and all parties involved should be very proud on what they accomplished.

Need a place to store your files?

XtreakMy big files are stored at Xtreak, high speed delivery at the lowest prices.




permalink this comment lester Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 08.34 am

Great post! Always wondered who did that. Thanks for all the imagery and research behind this. Any chance that we can find/see the storyboards and sketches at a bigger scale?



permalink this comment Veerle Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 08.49 am

Lester said:

Any chance that we can find/see the storyboards and sketches at a bigger scale?

Just click on the images as mentioned in the article. You need a Flickr account to see the orginal size :)



permalink this comment lester Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 09.52 am

Thanks again! You rock! I’ve always read, but this is the first time that I have commented! :)



permalink this comment Reinier Meenhorst Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 12.24 pm

Hey Veerle, thanks for a great post! I really like these commercials. They are so rich - just awesome. I am stoked to see Coke isn’t afraid to take the taste descriptions (by these lovely creatures) so over the top. Next to all the overwhelming imagery and impressive character design we might oversee the fact that there’s a great copywriter at work here.

The mockumentary reminds me of the bloopers/outtakes section of Pixar’s Monsters Inc. Nice touch.

Hope to see more of these ‘creative reviews’, V!



permalink this comment Jan Van Boghout Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 12.46 pm

This is one of my favorite commercials ever! Too bad there’s no *real* HD version of either one around, it’s just a totally different experience when you see it in a cinema with crisp video quality and pristine audio.



permalink this comment Timothy Diokno Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 02.29 pm

It barely looks like Avril’s face. Even THQ’s simulation of WWE(F) wrestlers are better than this. Nice commercial though.



permalink this comment Matias Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 03.40 pm

Really wonderfull post. Thanks for sharing!!!!



permalink this comment Jérôme Verzier Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 06.33 pm

Truly awesome !



permalink this comment Xavez Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 07.17 pm

Christ. That was awesome. Thank you so much for focusing on this Veerle!



permalink this comment Andreas Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 07.45 pm

Another post well done. I’ve always liked these ads - and they always make me so thirsty for some reason. Thanks for the insight :)



permalink this comment Fre Fri Aug 24, 2007 at 11.53 pm

This is one of the coolest commercials I have ever seen. You immediately see that a lot of work has been put in every stage of the creation of these commercials.

The storyboards are amazing and the animation is comparable to Pixar’s eye for detail and fluency.

I wonder what studies you’d recommend to end up in a company like this? Or DiD/Endrone, or perhaps even Duoh? :) It’s a bit off-topic but I’ve been can’t decide which school to go to and time is really running out. And since you’re quite the most famous Dutch webdeveloper on the net I’m sure you could give some good advice to your future competition.



permalink this comment Shaymaa Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 07.48 am

Thanks for the research.. can’t wait to see the whole thing (I’m downloading it now)!



permalink this comment kb Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 09.43 am

The detail is unreal, very amazing… Coca Cola has the biggest budget when it comes to TV ads.



permalink this comment zeb Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 12.32 pm

Thats my favorite coca cola ad. I was really impressed with the idea when I first saw it on TV. Thanks for posting the paper work :)



permalink this comment Don Kilpatrick Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 02.39 pm

Thanks for the great post, Veerle! Yet again you have turned me on to a great thing that i would have not found on my own!



permalink this comment Jason Sat Aug 25, 2007 at 05.51 pm

Veerle, this is the most amazing post I’ve ever seen. This is by far my favorite commercial in the history of commercials. The first time I saw it I was waiting in Fashion Valley’s AMC Theater in San Diego. I was amazed by the detail and originality that had gone into the whole thing. Thanks for bolstering my Happiness Factory knowledge.



permalink this comment kristarella Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 03.26 am

Awesome! I don’t really watch commercial TV either so I would never have known. Thanks for sharing!



permalink this comment David Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 05.55 am

Some more detailed info about the creators of the commercials are available at Duncan’s TV Adland.



permalink this comment Monicka Clio Sakki Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 09.17 am

Ouaou! Thanks so much for sharing! I’m so glad to have discovered your blog! A true delight to the eyes and mind… :-)



permalink this comment Jackson Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 10.08 pm

Pretty spectacular art.  I agree with you about commercials being mood spoilers.  Hope you’re doing well, Veerle!  I’m dying to go travel again and maybe see Belgium.



permalink this comment Kim Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11.16 pm

Thank you for this post.  What an excellent piece of work!  I must really be out of the TV loop because I’ve never seen this commercial.  Makes me want to go buy a coke and just imagine what’s going on in that little vending machine.  Cool!



permalink this comment Dickson Mon Aug 27, 2007 at 11.58 pm

I’ve seen this commercial only once before, but the fact that I remember it says a lot.  There are advertisements that simply raise brand/product awareness, and there are advertisements that make you want to actually go out and buy that product.  Great that you posted the sketches and storyboards for it!

<makes bee-line for the soda machine>



permalink this comment Greg Paulhus Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 02.46 am

Obviously, you have to hand it to Coke for the advertising concept and implementation, it’s brilliant.

But, it’s a lie. Coke is not a good, positive product that leads to happiness. It’s very unhealthy. This kind of advertising has its roots in the cigarette ads of old.

I’m just conflicted, that’s all. It’s brilliant advertising, but it’s also a complete lie. So, is that what great advertising is? Lies? I dunno, just my two cents.



permalink this comment Willem Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 10.54 am

Greg Paulhus said:

But, it’s a lie. Coke is not a good, positive product that leads to happiness. It’s very unhealthy. This kind of advertising has its roots in the cigarette ads of old.

While I do agree that coke is unhealthy, I believe the main point of this post is the incredible execution of the animation, the detail, ...

It’s a work of art. Of course, advertising never tells you the complete story, it only shows you one side of the story. Whether it is the advertisers job to educate the public about possible health risks is open for discussion (or in some cases regulated by law)



permalink this comment Fernanda Tue Aug 28, 2007 at 01.18 pm

I am glad to see the two posts above mine - while I agree, the point of Veerle’s post was the execution of the animation, I was wondering when someone would also have some critical thoughts about the very nature of the ad. That is also extremely necessary! Thanks everybody, and of course, specially Veerle!



permalink this comment Misty Fri Sep 7, 2007 at 03.09 pm

I also stopped watching tv. Here in the States it’s a disease. But I give you credit for sharing this! It really is awesome and entertaining!



permalink this comment Saber Sun Sep 9, 2007 at 07.50 am

Its just goes to show that sometimes it take simpler mimdset to solve hard problems. Like how to get people to love Coke again. Who could have thought that these funny characters could be so heart tuging you almost want to cry when you see the commercial.

I will consinder thinking simpler the next time im on a serious project. Thank Veere but i am still waiting for your new Duoh website



permalink this comment Veerle Sun Sep 9, 2007 at 02.36 pm

Saber said:

Thank Veerle but i am still waiting for your new Duoh website

I’m afraid it won’t be soon. My workload is way too heavy now (and the coming weeks). I haven’t been able to work on it for weeks. It’s not my 1st priority at the moment and I won’t do a rush job like I last did and then end up with something I’m unhappy about.

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.


buy something from my Amazon wishlist