How happy are you? Send us your worst examples of 'corporate happiness' and win a copy of The Happiness Industry

Why are we letting big business co-opt our happiness and wellbeing to boost their profits? To celebrate the launch of The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold Us Wellbeing by Will Davies, we're hosting a little competition to keep us skeptical of the ever-growing "happiness industry."

In the past decade, governments and corporations have become increasingly interested in measuring the way people feel. Behind most advertising is a belief that consumption is driven primarily by emotions. Facebook was called out for running mood experiments to assess whether users' moods influence what content they share. Coca-Cola ran a global campaign called Choose Happiness, which included a film that "Discovers The Power Of A Smile". Every leading advertising and market research guru has come to view our emotions as the target for their advertising and engagement.

Positive psychology has taken over corporate management culture. Google and other big companies now employ "chief happiness officers." Worker engagement programs like Hppy claim to "show you if your employees are demotivated and why" and state that "business units with engaged workers achieve 12% higher productivity and 22% higher profit." Analytics companies like Humanyze analyses employee movement, interaction and email traffic, to see how different social relations in the office yield different levels of psychological engagement. Some business happiness gurus, such as the entrepreneur and CEO of, Tony Hsieh, advise employers to lay off employees who don't seem willing to join in with workplace happiness programs. How did we let our emotions become a commodity?

Well, we've had enough! In The Happiness Industry: How the Government and Big Business Sold us Well-Being Will Davies turns a fiercely skeptical eye on the positive psychology movement. To celebrate the launch of this new book we want you to send us images and videos where the notion of happiness, wellbeing or mindfulness bullshit has been co-opted to manipulate our behaviour. 


Send us images and videos where the notion of happiness, wellbeing or mindfulness has been co-opted by big business/marketing to manipulate your feelings/behaviour. A prime example would be the recent Coca-Cola Choose Happiness campaign! 

You can tweet @versobooks using the hashtag #happinessindustry or post your images via Facebook tagging @versobks. Below are examples of just some of the advertising we're talking about.

We'll pick 10 winners by 22.00[GMT]/17.00[EST], May 28 and send a prize pack of:
1) Verso tote bag
2) The Happiness Industry by Will Davies
3) Heroes by Franco “Bifo” Berardi
4) All four Radical Thinkers Set 10

Here are a few cringe-worthy images of corporate culture shamelessly marketing happiness, to get you in the mood.

(Coca-cola's "Hello Happiness" phone booth)

(Ad for Microsoft's new fitness band)

And this video of the president of Humanyze, on using analytics to measure interactions in the workplace.