CI&T and Coca-Cola: "Happiness Flag Inspires Many Firsts"


The Challenge

One of the largest corporate sponsors of the 2014 FIFA World CupTM, Coca-Cola launched one of the company’s most audacious digital marketing initiatives to promote the event. In the way that soccer itself brings people together, Coca-Cola set out to do the same by inviting fans around the world to share their photos to create a giant “Happiness Flag." A sign of unity, optimism and passion, the “Happiness Flag” joined together over 223,000 fan images from 175 countries to create the largest flag mosaic ever. The “Happiness Flag” was unveiled on the field before the opening match at the 2014 FIFA World CupTM.


The largest, global digital marketing initiative in Coca-Cola’s history

The Solution

Coca-Cola needed the right technology partner to solve the complex problem of executing a campaign of this scale. Coca-Cola was committed to a cloud solution and multiple platforms were analyzed and assessed for their compatibility for this challenge. Throughout the proposal process, CI&T strongly and consistently advocated for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and was able to show Coca-Cola, in great detail, that it was the best and most stable choice for this project. CI&T also emphasized the importance of Agile development methodologies to best manage the campaign’s many moving parts. Coca-Cola selected CI&T due to the company’s deep experience working with enterprise companies using both GCP and leading large enterprise-wide Agile projects inside Fortune 100 firms. CI&T proposed using the whole portfolio of Google Cloud Platform technologies (Google App Engine, Google Compute Engine, Google Cloud Storage) and integrating with the most popular social networks (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). Amazingly, this project marked the first large-scale pilot using Google Cloud Platform services and Agile Methodologies within Coca-Cola Global.

Key Requirements

  • Scalability: The architecture must be scalable to support at least 25 million original, technically valid and approved images, and a massive amount of requests to upload images, search and view content. Being able to scale seamlessly while adhering to fluctuating demand would be critical.
  • Global: This system would be used worldwide and via a large number of different devices, therefore, requiring different capacities of computational power on Coca-Cola’s side. Providing an amazing user experience with high performance and low latency, regardless of the user context, would be a great challenge.
  • Simplicity: Another challenge would be the short timeframe during which the team would be required to deliver the first assets and put together a very simple, yet still effective and robust, architecture. This would dramatically reduce the risks of the project, not only at the very beginning, but throughout the entire campaign.
  • Reliability: As one of the most important marketing campaigns for Coca-Cola over the next few years, the solution needed to provide all the capabilities required to ensure the system would run smoothly 24x7, including redundancy, failover techniques, backups and state-of-art monitoring.
  • Cost: The technical solution needed to provide all the capabilities above and also be affordable.

Turning a Problem into an Opportunity

During the first sprint, the team learned that Coca-Cola’s legal department had concerns regarding the way users were giving their consent for their submitted images. The initial idea was the industry standard - users submit images via social media by simply adding a hashtag to the post. This process was not deemed a legally sufficient form of consent so the CI&T team was charged to identify an alternate solution for obtaining explicit consent. CI&T’s innovative solution was a form of two-way communication with the user inside of social media. From the constraints of this legal compliance stipulation, CI&T transformed the way Coca-Cola engages with its users.

The Road to the 2014 FIFA World Cup

As part of Coca-Cola’s global marketing plan, the photo release in each country was scheduled to rollout by country. Starting in the fall of 2013 with Facebook and internal-facing media management tools, and adding functionality along the way, users began to submit photos via Facebook fan pages. Also, to address the high volume of activity, CI&T requested - and Instagram complied - to change the app’s code to increase the hourly writing limit from 60 to 5000 posts! This change has forever altered the possibilities for other marketing campaigns to use Instagram at this scale.

The Solution

The first large-scale pilot of the Agile Methodology within Coca-Cola

The first large-scale pilot use of Google Cloud Platform services within Coca-Cola

The first fully automated two-way user interaction through social networking used within Coca-Cola.

The Results

With this campaign, CI&T has become recognized within Coca-Cola as a first choice partner for executing the most challenging projects. Additionally, due in large part to the resounding success of this campaign, CI&T was awarded the 2014 Google Global Partner of the Year for Cloud. This campaign can be remembered for delivering many firsts for Coca-Cola:

  • The first large-scale pilot of the Agile Methodology within Coca-Cola Global.
  • The first large-scale pilot use of Google Cloud Platform services within Coca-Cola.
  • The first fully automated two-way user interaction through social networking built within Coca-Cola. CI&T’s innovative mindset in the face of legal concerns drove this two-way communication, opening a new world of possibilities for customer engagement.

CI&T achieved an outstanding result in all four security scans scheduled. According to Belinda Dorsey, KO IT Project Manager: "[Three times out of three,} CI&T have had NO security defects - not no HIGH, but not any! This is unheard of, and truly a result of all their hard work!”

With CI&T’s leadership and expertise in Google App Engine, Coca-Cola impressed the world with the “Happiness Flag” at the 2014 FIFA World Cup


CI&T recognized as a great integrator for complex challenges within Coca-Cola Global.

CI&T delivers clean result on first 4 security scans

CI&T was awarded the 2014 Google Global Partner of the Year for Cloud


About Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world's most valuable and recognizable brands, our Company's portfolio features 17 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade,Minute Maid, Simply, Georgia and Del Valle. Together with our bottling partners, we rank among the world's top 10 private employers with more than 700,000 system associates.


About CI&T

CI&T is the digital technology agency empowering Agile Growth for the world’s biggest companies by leveraging advanced technologies including Cloud, IoT, Big Data, Machine Learning/AI, Social, Mobility. For over 20 years, CI&T has been a trusted partner in helping global businesses such as Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Walmart and Motorola build, manage, and transform the enterprise through the right combination of next generation technologies. With 2000 Digital Business Experts and Engineers in the USA, Brazil, UK, Australia, Japan, and China, CI&T is big enough to handle the needs of Fortune 100 clients while remaining agile, lean and able to move bold ideas to market fast.