Shared meals provide social as well as bodily nourishment, yet apparently not even the Italians are taking enough time to break bread with their paesans anymore. Enter Coca-Cola with the latest in its series of Happiness-engendering live stunts, this one designed to bring together strangers over a meal in a Neapolitan square.
As part of its broader Happiness-focused marketing platform, Coke has been devising ever more diabolical ways to spring delight upon unsuspecting members of the public over the past few years. The award-winning Happiness Machine dispensed more Cokes–and balloon animals, pizzas, and giant sandwiches–than patrons at a U.S. college cafeteria were expecting; the Happiness Truck showered sunglasses, soccer balls, and rain on surprised onlookers on a Rio street; and the Hug Machine exchanged Cokes for, well, you get the idea.
This time, agency Naked Communications in Copenhagen teamed with production company Acne to kit out a delivery truck with a special table and magical moving cloche full of Cokes and Italian food. The truck, manned by Italian chef and TV personality Simone Rugiati, parked in a Naples street and proceeded to host an impromptu dinner for anyone who happened by and joined in.
“It was all done rather spontaneous,” says Naked executive creative director Casper Willer. “Together with Acne we had only done some sparse preparation with the unfolding of the transformer mechanics and food cloche coming in and out, the day before.”
Willer says the actual event was “rather authentic,” with the production team inviting people from the streets in the local neighborhood to the feast or simply having passersby joining in. “All the characters are local people that were basically drawn by the rumor on the streets and the music coming from our harmonicon and guitarist (we met these two in two separate small restaurants the day before, and asked them to come),” he says.
“The actual shoot was really just us, a highly enthusiastic chef, and Acne–not least Tobias Granhölm, our director–trying to document a burgeoning neighborhood party, armed with two cameras. All in the good spirit of spreading some spontaneous Happiness.”