Coca-Cola takes another path to reach younger consumers

In October, Coca-Cola introduced its Expedition 206 social media campaign, designed by its recently introduced department of social and digital media.

Company: Coca-Cola
PR agency: Fast Horse
Campaign: Expedition 206
Duration: Oct. 2009-Dec. 2010

In October, Coca-Cola introduced its Expedition 206 social media campaign, designed by its recently introduced department of social and digital media.

"We needed to move into a space that was about creating a dialogue, particularly with young people," says Clyde Tuggle, SVP and chief public affairs officer and CCO.

Strategy
"It's an opportunity to understand social and digital media, how people use it, how to connect with people," adds Tuggle.

The first part of the campaign focused on getting the word out about Expedition 206 and encouraging consumers to vote online for three Coca-Cola "Happiness Ambassadors" who were set to travel to 206 countries starting January 1, 2010.

Tactics
Coca-Cola and its PR agency Fast Horse announced the effort with an AP exclusive, the launch of Expedition206.com, and the start of voting. The company also did blogger outreach and used social media to encourage fans to vote.

"We realized the story could be told on a lot of different levels," says Adam Brown, director of the office of digital communications and social media, including targeting outlets that cover travel, young adults, technology, and business.

Results
Expedition206.com had hundreds of thousands of visitors during the two-week voting period, and 75% of the tens of thousands of votes came from non-US countries, Brown adds. The winners were announced in Atlanta on November 16, and "conducted interviews via satellite, phone, Skype, and Twitter, all in the same day," says Scott Broberg, VP at Fast Horse. Future
Throughout 2010, the ambassadors will blog, tweet, and post photos and videos. "They will participate in our three biggest moments: opening ceremonies of the Winter Games in Vancouver; in South Africa for the FIFA World Cup; and the Shanghai Expo," Brown adds. l

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