Coca-Cola has unveiled a unique piece of artwork, Power of Optimism, on London’s Southbank.

The one-day installation - which will be situated at Observation Point - has been designed and built by British artist David Boultbee to celebrate how the nation has spread positivity and optimism on social media throughout January, typically characterised as the gloomiest month of the year.

Power of Optimism is made up of a combination of ten one-metre-squared cubes, five of which are linked to a real-time feed of tweets sent across the UK. These cubes display 20 of the most regularly used positive words on Twitter, including ‘hope’ and ‘proud’[i], and will light up as they are tweeted throughout the day.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HfPa9hcE1tY]
The installation highlights the findings of independent analysis commissioned by Coca-Cola which offers a counter-intuitive look at the nation’s behaviour online. Using social media analytics tool Crimson Hexagon[ii] on tweets sent by UK’s 15 million active Twitter users every day since the start of 2014 and all of 2013, the research reveals that online optimism is thriving and positive tweets are outnumbering negative by more than two to one.

  • Since the start of 2014, tweets of a positive nature have accounted for nearly half (48%)[iii] of all messages sent on the social network, while negative messages made up less than a fifth (17%). When compared to the whole of 2013, 47% were positive, with only 15% negative.
  • In the first two weeks of the year, Twitter users were optimistic about what 2014 holds in store for them.  Nearly half of all tweets (45%) containing a mention of 2014 were positive compared to over a quarter (28%) of positive mentions about 2013 in the same period last year[iv].

Analysis was also carried out on a handful of the most positive words used on Twitter across 2013 and so far in 2014:

  • The word ‘love’ was used 77 million times in 2013 and included in as many as 200,000 to 300,000 tweets per day, whereas ‘hate’ never exceeded 100,000 uses over a 24 hour period.
  • Already in 2014, over 1.5million tweets have contained the word ‘love’.

Further analysis on some of the most positive terms found that:

  • For every ‘ugly’ there were six uses of ‘beautiful’
  • For every ‘sad’, there were five uses of ‘happy’
  • There was only one ‘fail’ for every 24 times someone wanted a ‘win’
  • For every ‘worst’, there were five uses of ‘best’
  • ‘Good’  was used four times more than ‘bad’

It also revealed exactly when love comes out on top and revealed pinpointed the top five dates in 2013 when the term ‘love’ was used the most:

  1. 14th February - Valentine’s Day  - 362,076 mentions
  2. 27th October -  One Direction preview  their new single Story of My Life - 335,293 mentions
  3. 10th March – Mother’s Day - 297,897 (compared to  277,741 for Father’s Day in June)
  4. 1st January – New Year’s Day - 287,739
  5. 20th February -  The Brit Awards - 283,682 mentions

David Boultbee, Power of Optimism artist, said:
“It was interesting to see the counterintuitive results of Coca-Cola’s research which showed that the British public is overwhelmingly optimistic in their use of social media. I was really keen to see how I could bring it to life as a piece of interactive artwork.

Power of Optimism was designed to give a snapshot of the UK’s behaviour on Twitter over the course of one day. We want to remind people just how many positive thoughts and feelings are being posted every second, and what better way to do this than using these messages to light up the Southbank.”

Curt Bloom, President, Crimson Hexagon, said:
“Coca-Cola’s research into UK Twitter behaviour has provided a fascinating, real-time snapshot of what the nation likes to share in 140 characters.

“Our bespoke sentiment algorithm analyses more than 500,000 words and phrases to categorise tweets as positive, negative or neutral in their tone. The analytics tool has been hand-trained by humans to take into account slang, abbreviations and sarcasm and therefore give the most accurate and insightful results possible.”

" It’s great to see that Brits are overwhelmingly using social media to spread messages of positivity. With 15 million active UK Twitter users, social media is clearly an important tool for people to share the little things make them feel optimistic about the world: their 'reasons to believe'. Even in the winter months, with the short days and miserable weather, it’s refreshing that people are maintaining a sunny outlook online." Brid Drohan-Stewart, Marketing Activation Director, Coca-Cola Great Britain

The research and light installation form part of Coca-Cola’s Reasons to Believe campaign, a new thought provoking campaign which puts the spotlight on life’s positives, bringing to life the optimism and positivity that Coca-Cola has always stood for over the last 127 years. ‘Reasons to Believe’ is based on real consumer insight and is aimed at inspiring people to believe that, for all the negativity and tension in the world, there is also a lot of good.  

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For more information or images please contact Jack Hart, Abbi Oakley or Faye Williamson on coke@bluerubicon.com / 0207 2602700

About Coca-Cola Great Britain:
Coca-Cola Great Britain is responsible for marketing 21 brands and over 100 products to consumers across Great Britain, with a focus upon developing new brands and extending existing brands including Coca-Cola (recognised as the world’s most valuable brand).  Other Coca-Cola Great Britain brands include Diet Coke, Coke Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dr Pepper, Oasis, Glaecau vitaminwater, Oasis, Schweppes, 5 Alive, Lilt, Kia Ora, Relentless Energy Drink and Powerade. The Coca-Cola Great Britain portfolio is worth £2,086 million with value sales growth of 4.2% in the past year.  Within this, the My Coke trilogy (Coca-Cola, Diet Coke and Coke Zero) is worth £1,157 million (Neilsen, w/c 19/01/13).  Coca-Cola Great Britain is committed to developing innovative, responsible and sustainable initiatives that help protect the environment.

[i] Full list of words representing positive Twitter sentiment on the installation:

  1. love
  2. amazing
  3. happy
  4. great
  5. good
  6. awesome
  7. excited
  8. hope
  9. beautiful
  10. cute
  11. like
  12. new
  13. nice
  14. funny
  15. fantastic
  16. brilliant
  17. proud
  18. fun
  19. perfect
  20. wonderful

These words were selected by scanning a random sample of 10,000 UK tweets per day over the course of 2013 to reveal the positive words that were used most regularly. 

[ii] Crimson Hexagon's proprietary Auto-Sentiment algorithm applies a vast set of training documents -- over 500,000 -- that were hand-coded into Positive, Negative and Neutral categories. It uses these training documents to determine the probabilities that a given word is used in a Positive, Neutral or Negative context.

[iii] As of 15th January 2014.

[iv] Calculated via analysis of a sample of 10,000 tweets per day across the first two weeks of 2013 and the first two weeks of 2014. Al tweets contained a mention of the corresponding year. Crimson Hexagon then analysed whether the tweets were positive, neutral or negative in sentiment. From 1st January – 14th January 2013, 25% of tweets containing ‘2013’ were positive. For the same period in 2014, 40% if tweets containing ‘2014’ were positive.

Polling carried out amongst 1,000 16-24 year olds, by Populus for Coca-Cola, November 2013.