We wrote about Coca-Cola’s ‘Happiness Machine’ when it first appeared in an unnamed US university campus in January. Indeed, we asked whether it could be the “worst viral campaign ever”, simply because it seemed so contrived.
I’m guessing that we must have been wrong.
The pimped-out vending machine, able to dispense an unusual variety of treats, from pizza to strawberries, has been let loose once again, this time in a UK university campus.
We’re guessing that if the campaign was such a disaster first time around, the savvy marketers behind Coke wouldn’t give it a second airing.
Coca-Cola Happiness Machine, UK
The only difference this time around is that bloggers, like yours truly, are being financially incentivised to trigger views. By way of disclosure, Anthill is being paid 12 cents for every person we prompt to watch this clip. (Thanks for the 12 cents you just got us paid.)
Sound appealing? Let’s do the maths. If we assume that 1,000 people watch, that equates to $120 (small change in our world). But those small amounts might not seem so small to a hobby-blogger. (Tax attorney by day. Celebrity watcher by night!)
Perhaps the future of viral marketing is one where marketing departments employ ad networks to employ hobby-bloggers to kick start their aspiring viral masterpieces?
The dilemma, of course, is the possible creation of an online media landscape where the line between paid and earned content is blurred. Not all bloggers, for example, will understand the importance of disclosure. And cash for comment is likely to be an appealing substitute for nine-to-fivers looking to ditch the daily grind and go professional.