Coca-cola Happiness machine
This paper analyses a popular text from commercial advertisement Coca-cola Happiness machine. The analysis makes use of elements of semiotics to analyze the commercial text based on the understanding of signs and codes within a popular culture.
Coca-cola has a history of creating unique award winning adverts because of high level of technology, innovation and creativity in their sales and marketing department. Coca-cola decided to create ‘happiness machine’ advert in order to support its digital activation platform. The main aim was to release a video that would go viral in media in order to attract more customers. The promotion of this advert was made through Coke’s Facebook page and website.
The video clip “Coca-cola Happiness machine” is a commercial clip meant to advertize Coca-cola on a global platform. The video shows a Coca-cola vending machine being transformed to happiness machine and making the consumers happy. In a class, students get surprised and happier when the vending machine dispenses more drinks and other bunch of unexpected treats (Such as sandwich, flowers, and animal balloon) beyond what they had paid for (Coca-Cola Happiness Machine). The vending machine positioned at a strategic position deliver spontaneous surprises to unsuspecting students. Coca-cola marketing team targeted those who buy Coca-cola from the vending machine made the advert. In its creation, it was expected that surprise and happiness shared by the machine would attract more customers to buy the Coca-cola drink from the machine.
Semiotic components feature
There are several semiotic components in the commercial video clip, “Coca-cola Happiness machine”. It is a realistic representation expressing general feeling that a person can have when something good and unexpected happens. Majority of students depends on their parents for financial support and therefore getting free drinks and other stuffs can be a big deal and quite surprising to them. When the vending machine gives out free stuffs, students express happiness. Smile and laughter is seen as the machine projects a hand to give surplus to the student.
Commodity code – It is possible to identify Coca-cola drink because it is consumed globally. The clothing in the video clearly indicated the western culture. The clothing would have been different if the students in video were from Asian or African countries. It is possible to differentiate these regions from the clothing based on the cultural knowledge.
Media Code – The text makes use of techniques such as video editing in order to bring out better information. In the midst of the actions, there are words that have been used to introduce and explain some important aspects in the video. This includes phrases such as…” we put special coke machine in the middle of a college campus…” From these words it is possible to understand the message that the text wanted to pass to the audience.
Behavior code – in the text, there is an indication of certain behavior associated with students. The character of sharing is a common behavior among the students. For example, when one student pays for one bottle and then the vender gives more, she shares to other students as a gesture of friendship and unity. Students tend to have such behavior, because with time they get used to one another and start behaving like members of the same family.
Verbal language– there is the use of verbal language, which makes the audience, understands the clip. In addition, there is use or written words such as… “ we put special coke machine in the middle of a college campus…” and…..” to share a little happiness with the student body”.
Stuart Hall, British sociologist urged that codes are applied in two ways: First, the creator of a text encodes it with a particular meaning or meanings (Culler 34). Second, the readers or the consumer in the case of “Coca-cola happiness machine” decodes the text with his/her own understanding and interpretation. In most cases, mass media codes give the readers social identity which they might adopt as their own.
The information that Coca-cola intended to pass is clearly understood. There is a clear message that Coca-cola is a source of happiness to its audience. Therefore, the text gained a dominance response. Clearly, the creation was simple as it executes the intended meaning.
Coca-Cola Happiness Machine. Web (19 Feb, 2015) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqT_dPApj9U
Culler, Jonathan D. The pursuit of signs: Semiotics, literature, deconstruction. Cornell University Press, 2002.