The CementBloc, a spunky New York-based agency specializing in health and wellness marketing, is diversifying into happiness. The spin-off, which will be unveiled Wednesday evening during the agency’s Internet Week event in New York’s Union Square, will launch a new platform for people to track, manage and boost what makes them happy.
“It’s a bigger idea than health and wellness,” says Elizabeth Elfenbein, one of the agency’s partners, who came up with the idea for a new service dubbed Happy Fuel, and a mobile app to power it, when she was thinking about ways to help people avoid getting sick in the first place.
“It’s about prevention,” she says, referring to how many diseases are related to stress, anxiety and being unhappy. Research has shown happiness to be related to better neuroendocrine, inflammatory and cardiovascular activity. Elfenbein’s solution: Give people a mechanism to focus on the things that make them happy. And that’s exactly what Happy Fuel does by giving users a means of “paying happiness forward” by sharing things that make them happy with other people, including song, photo, video, places, sounds or thoughts.
The app, which utilizes a the smiley face emoticon as a literal fuel gauge, enables users to “fuel up” on things that make them happy, and track and manage how happy they are.
“Right now, I would say the gross national happiness is at a great deficit. Our goal is to improve the world’s happiness quotient,” says Elfenbein, who calls herself Chief Happiness Officer at the agency.
Actually, the agency believes there is such a good business in marketing happiness that its partners have agreed to spin the concept off into a separate business, Happy Fuel Inc., which plans to develop an array of products and services that help people be happy.
Elfenbein says a key element of happiness includes the ability to “live in the moment” and enjoy things as they happen. And while that is an attribute normally associated with youth, she says the reality is that adults over 50 are generally happier, because they have a better appreciation of what makes them happy. As a result, a primary goal of Happy Fuel is to help the Millennial generation become more aware of their happiness and to motivate them to “fuel it forward” via social media.
Elfenbein says she believes it will resonate with young people because of her own household experience. At first, her daughter was dubious about the project, until she got to utilize a prototype of the app, including its emoticon fuel gauge. “That’s so cool, mom,” she told Elfenbein, who will help fuel it forward at CementBloc’s event Wednesday, which not surprisingly, is being positioned as a “happy hour.” It starts at 5:30 p.m.