Collaboration is cool! (As Seen on TV)

BY Fernando L. Mompó on 16 / 09 / 2014

As probably any professional involved in innovation I can recall several examples of how a new idea, concept or technology is discovered or captures my attention for a first time. Then I see this idea evolve, sometimes even for years, as I read or hear about it here and there with an increasing frequency. Suddenly, the novelty is no more, as everybody knows, talks or writes about it.

Many times, there is a significant turning point that clearly marks the pass from underground to mainstream. This happens the day I find out the new idea  or concept has been incorporated in an ad.

That’s what I thought about collaboration as not just a business but more generally a social trend while watching one of the last Coca-Cola campaigns: The friendly Twist

Coca Cola’s new friendly twist campaign introduces a cap on the new bottles specially designed so that you can’t open the beverage unless you match your bottle with another and twist them both at the same time. Thus, you have to pair off to be refreshed. The new cap aims to force interactions between strangers. New Coke bottle makes it impossible to drink alone…

But just one ad does not make a trend, and this time Coca-cola’s Mad Men were not the first ones to tap into the idea of Collaboration. A year ago, the Swiss-based chocolate company Milka offered a similar approach in a campaign designed for the Argentinean market. With the slogan, “Dare To Be Tender,” the company encouraged strangers to have a little tenderness when interacting with one another.

A Milka vending machine was placed in a public space with a branded purple cow statue a few feet away. The vending machine had no slots for coins, so passersby had to figure out how to get access to the machine’s contents. Collaborative thinking and holding hands was the solution as they soon discovered – joining hands with one another to form a “chain of tenderness” between the vending machine and the cow prompted the machine to dispense chocolate bars.

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