PICK OF THE WEEK: Coca-Cola "Happiness Factory: The Movie"

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This week Coke, Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam and Psyop unveiled the latest installment of what seems to be the Happiness Factory series. What started as a brilliant spot, evolved into a behind-the-scenes feature replete with animated interviews of (real) Factory employees and has now morphed into a full length (well, it is over three minutes long) movie.

Unveiled in bizarro fashion within the virtual universe of Second Life, the "movie" takes us back inside the Factory of the Coke machine to show us just what happens when the sugar water tap runs dry. We see all the same characters that made the first installment so great but now we get to see them in crisis mode. Most scream and giggle and wail openly, except for one Fraggle-esque worker who is anointed by what seems like the Factory foreman (dressed in a wizard-sleeved cloak made of pink polar bear, obviously) to take on the holy quest of getting the fizzy goodness pumping again.

Over the course of his adventure the little munchkin is chased incessantly by horny Kissy Puppies, narrowly avoids drowning and is almost crushed by elephant-sized flesh slugs, all before arriving at Coke's version of Mount Doom. When he finally climbs to its apex, he's so tired and overcome with thirst that he chugs his precious magical bottle of Coke at the very moment we assume he's supposed to use it to somehow restart the supply chain. Then, as in real life, all is saved with a few gut-churning burps. The Coke Tree of Life is miraculously brought to life and begins churning out the sweet nectar once again. Our brave hero rides the distribution branch back home and watches as the overly complicated delivery system of pomp and circumstance continues. Happiness rules once again and everyone is full of joy, especially the poor schlub who's been waiting all this time for the machine to spit out his damn soda.

So far this series still gives us the warm and fuzzies (and we certainly don't need Virtual Donny's Big Idea to be impressed) but we can't help but think that without some kind of change to the insert-coin-magic-begins formula, this could be the Happiness Factory's last stop before the shop gets relocated to Overexposureville and the extra work is outsourced to knock-off firm Sci-Op. Drinking soda at every meal will rot the teeth right outta your head; we don't want to see our love of these characters similarly deteriorate because someone decided to beat a successful campaign to death.
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