Changing one of the most iconic products in the world could backfire. We’ve seen Coca-Cola add new flavors and alter their signature bottle contour before: New Coke fizzled out quietly after a decade, and Coca-Cola Blak didn’t even last two years. Now, McCann Milan is making the slightest of changes to Coke cans in Italy, redesigning the mouth, so when someone opens a new Coke, it looks as if the can is smiling back at them. McCann is calling this product the “Happy Can.”

The adjustment is so subtle, folks may not even realize anything has changed at all. The campaign is meant to cheer up Italians after a year of controversial press focusing on Silvio Berlusconi, a new Pope, and a troubled economy. Will the Happy Can make any difference? Probably not, since the can has yet to go into production. At the moment, it is only being hyped for promotional purposes, popping up on billboards in major Italian cities while the Coca-Cola brand goes over the legality of a widespread tweak to their traditional design. If McCann’s can modification could actually remedy Italy’s 36% youth unemployment rate, then people may be more inclined to buy a smiling pop-top. But for now, it’s just a very minor gesture in a country with some very major problems. Credits after the jump.

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