by Elicia Gibson

Coca-Cola suffered in the new thriving Filipino economy. The reason? As upper-class people become richer, the lower economic class saw what they gained, then ultimately flaunted, and felt left behind. As the economy flourished, the happiness diminished. The Philippines dropped from 14th on the Happy Planet index global measurement of well being, to a low 25th, making them the “least happy”. Coca-Cola thrived on happiness and needed to bring it back to the Philippine masses.

Coca-Cola saw that Filipinos’ always went after what they didn’t have. They used revolutions to obtain freedom, demonstrations to get change, and national constitution conventions to let them claim rights. They needed a leader to inspire them to take back their happiness. Coca-Cola used social media to reach the Philippine people, due to them being the social-media capitol of the world. With Filipinos spreading to 7,107 islands and all over the world, they used social media to connect and spread ideas.


Caloy: Social Media’s First President

Coca-Cola took this information and created Caloy, the President for Happiness, who held office on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Caloy took his first act of Presidency to create Free Coke Day. Filipinos could tweet #FreeCoke and receive a free Coke. 3.6 million glasses of Coke were given away in three hours. #FreeCoke trended worldwide on Twitter.

Caloy also listened to his followers on social media by seeing what their woeful sentiments on their platforms were. He found a lot of Filipinos wanted to help their families so he created summer jobs for people to become Coke Ambassadors. Filipinos enjoyed music but found their favorite bands were hard to see so Caloy created social concerts with the bands and songs people voted for using polls on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The concert was then free for all to enjoy and also celebrated 100 years of Coca-Cola in the Philippines. Affordable fashion was a desire for Filipinos so Caloy partnered with Bench, a local fashion leader, to create affordable Coca-Cola appearal. The fashion show was aired online for all to see through YouTube. Caloy also interacted with fans through social media. He would comment on their birthdays and happy moments, drawing in people who didn’t even know about the campaign before. Happiness reached a 75% in Filipinos, according to a survey.

Coca-Cola used Caloy to show people that happiness doesn’t have to come from luxurious things. The ordinary Caloy inspired joy and helped spread it to all Filipinos through his generosity and kind acts on social media. Caloy dominated 67-83% of conversations on social media related to his advocacy of music, fashion, or summer jobs, according to Sysomos Social Scan. This in turn had people talking about Coca-Cola. The concert reached 48,500 people, a large group. Coca-Cola dominated social media on three social media platforms and got everyone involved in the brand. Since the Philippine social media presence is the largest, it’s amazing to see the success they had in this campaign by dominating the conversation on social media.

Though this campaign was a social win, I would offer up this advice: keep Caloy alive. After the campaign, the social media presence of Caloy disappeared. If he created such a splash, why take him away? I’m not saying to keep him doing great things but still interacting with social media users would keep them interested in the brand. It’s important to stay in touch with audience members, even after a successful campaign. It wouldn’t cost much to have one person still conversing with users online. Coca-Cola is all about spreading happiness, so why would they stop spreading it by using a very simple method? Other than that, this was a fantastic campaign and yet another example of Coca-Cola’s great advertising.