Ashley Brown: 40 Under 40 2013

Group Director, Digital Communications and Social Media, Coca-Cola

Ashley Brown has helped reinvent the way one of America’s oldest and best-loved brands communicates with the world. In his current role, he is responsible for driving the creation and execution of Coca-Cola’s digital strategy, guiding digital and social media policies and training, and advising customers and partners on social and digital media. Since joining the 126-year-old company in December 2010, he has overseen a "quantum leap forward" in corporate digital communications, including the launch of the groundbreaking online magazine Coca-Cola Journey and the company’s first corporate news blog, Coca-Cola Unbottled.

His leadership has seen Coke’s social channels expand more than 100% year over year. Other achievements include developing a social media training program for all staff, creating an intensive social media "boot camp" for marketers and PR staff, and building Coke’s global social listening program. Brown’s crowning glory – the creation of Coca-Cola Journey – was the company’s most ambitious digital project since the launch of its first website in 1995 and a remarkable success story in its own right. The interactive site allows visitors to explore the world of Coke and features vibrant images and videos, original content,  and the chance to get involved in dialogue and debate. Its launch gained more than 200 million press impressions and more than 300 news stories worldwide, including coverage in The New York Times. Since then, the site has had 5.7 million visitors from more than 200 countries and garnered 22.3 million social media impressions. Its 1 million monthly visitors actively engage with content, as evidenced by 5,654 comments on the site and 20,153 social shares to date.

"The site has achieved great success thanks to Ashley," say colleagues of Brown. "Through a combination of analyzing user experiences, innovative editorial content, and reader participation, Coca-Cola is engaging with consumers, readers, and employees on a deeper, more meaningful level."

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