32 countries are represented by their national football team in the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, yet today, the faces of football fans from 207 countries, including South Africa, made it onto the pitch at Arena de Sao Paulo. Ahead of the opening match, Coca-Cola unveiled “The Happiness Flag” – the largest-ever, digitally produced Photomosaic® Flag. The Flag is part of the Coca-Cola 2014 FIFA World CupTM campaign, ‘The World’s Cup’ – launched with the goal of creating the most inclusive FIFA World CupTM Coca-Cola campaign ever.
Over 200,000 fan images, amongst them, local radio breakfast teams from KFM, Cape Talk and Highveld Stereo, were used for “The Happiness Flag” to recreate a unique design developed by Brazilian street artist Speto in collaboration with Argentinian artist Tec. The flag was digitally-produced by Robert Silvers, the inventor of Photomosaic technology.
“The Happiness Flag” was placed on the pitch ahead of the opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ in front of an estimated global audience of over 1 billion people. Formed of 192 printed nylon fabric panels, the Flag was stitched together to deliver an epic 3,015 square meter piece of art, covering almost the entirety of the playing surface.
Emmanuel Seuge, Vice President Global Alliances & Ventures, The Coca-Cola Company said, “At the start of our campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, ‘The World’s Cup’ we set out to create the most inclusive and participatory FIFA World Cup™ ever. Through “The Happiness Flag”, we gave fans from all around the world the unprecedented opportunity to be a part of the greatest football stage of all. Football has an incredible power to bridge social, cultural and geographical divides and “The Happiness Flag” is the perfect illustration of this power, creating a shared experience for people.”
The Coca-Cola 2014 FIFA World CupTM campaign, ‘The World’s Cup’, celebrates the inclusive spirit shared by Coca-Cola, football and the tournament’s host country, Brazil. “We knew we couldn’t make a claim like ‘The World’s Cup’ without proving it,” Seuge continues. “And we’ve proved it in a number of ways, from our films to the FIFA World CupTM Trophy Tour. Now, “The Happiness Flag” has provided the perfect culmination by bringing peoplefrom 207 countries together to participate in the FIFA World Cup™.”
Speto, who also created the Coca-Cola 2014 FIFA World CupTM visual identity system, was quick to respond to the challenge to create a design for the flag. “When we first briefed Speto, he told us, ‘While Brazil and Argentina have a historic rivalry in football, in art, we are comrades,’” recalls Brad Fields, Coca-Cola Global Licensing Manager, “And that’s what this project is all about: ‘Hilltop’ on a flag’”. – in reference to the iconic 1971 Coca-Cola ad featuring a multinational chorus of young people gathering on a hilltop in Italy to sing together.
Building the Flag
Producing “The Happiness Flag” was a logistically complex task that required close coordination among multiple players. Once Speto and Tec completed their canvas painting, Coca-Cola sent a digitized version to Robert Silvers.
Over the last few months, Silvers recreated the colorful flag design with fan photos posted to www.happinessflag.com and shipped the finished product, section by section, to Rio de Janeiro, where it was printed.
The digital version of the flag will live on www.happinessflag.com where consumers will be able to see an aerial shot of the flag and hover over the mosaic to explore the photos. Fans who submitted photos will now receive a link to see exactly where they were on the flag – and on the pitch and are encouraged to share their photo using #worldscup.