During Super Bowl XLIX, Coca-Cola launched a happy ad campaign called “Make It Happy” in which they attempted to turn hate speech into fluffy images of niceness and sweetness. A website found a way to screw with it and actually forced Coca-Cola to pull it down in the process.
Gawker took a look at Coca-Cola’s “Make It Happy” campaign and royally screwed it over by tricking it into using quotes from “Mein Kampf,” the manifesto of Nazi party leader, certified evil f*$& and history’s biggest douchebag to date Adolph Hitler. The campaign worked like this: People would send their negative Tweets to the “Tweet-bot” running the campaign with the hashtag #MakeItHappy and the robot running the Twitter account would send back cuddly pictures of ASCII art using the offending quote. Coca-Cola hoped the campaign would “tackle the pervasive negativity polluting social media feeds and comment threads across the Internet.” Since the very foundation of the Internet is made up of racist YouTube comments against cat videos and social media updates that would make a person weep for society if they were plastered anywhere else, it was only a matter of time before someone decided to turn it against itself and watch it cave in on itself like that suburban home at the end of “Poltergeist.”
A tech-head at Gawker set up a Twitter bot that would send out lines from “Mein Kampf” with Coca-Cola’s hashtag in the hopes their Twitter-bot would take the bait and turn lines like “My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duty very conscientiously" and “German-Austria must be restored to the great German Motherland” into pictures of anthropomorphic burgers drinking a Coke and a cat with sunglasses playing the drums. It worked.
Coca-Cola’s program spit out at least 14 images using quotes from Hitler’s book and the company announced that it would suspend the campaign and no longer send out ASCII art before someone else started doing something even worse with it. They also lambasted Gawker for “trying to turn this campaign into something that it isn’t.” We didn’t think that someone could make an advertising campaign creepier and more f*#&ed up than Nationwide’s “Because I Died” ad. So touche, Gawker.
Source: The Guardian