Maybe, it's just us, but it's hard to look at someone smiling blindly at a stranger without feeling a little squirmy.
6 / 10
Coca-Cola’s video campaigns have never shied away from warming hearts, but its latest spot, "smile back", takes an even more direct route.
As the name suggests, the ad is all about bringing smiles to the faces of the general public. And how does Coca-Cola propose to do this? Well, by smiling at them first.
Working with agency Victor and Spoils, a troop of red-clad, grin-ready individuals were sent onto the streets to assail passers-by with their overwhelming positivity. If the confused strangers smiled back, they were rewarded with a frosty Coke (or, if their smile was infectious enough, sunglasses or a brand-new bike).
While conveying its 'Open Happiness' message, the ad can’t help but feel a little lacklustre compared to Coca-Cola’s previous efforts. After all, this is the same brand which scored viral hits with bottles made of ice, the world’s first sharing can and even a stab at international conflict resolution.
The concept lacks that immediate hook, despite its rousing editing and music. And maybe it’s just us, but it’s hard to look at someone smiling blindly at a stranger without feeling a little squirmy.
With 29,000 shares and 82,000 views since its release last week, "smile back" has strong production and branding on its side. We just wonder whether it lacks the X-factor that made some of its previous campaigns such juggernauts.