Nov 17, 2009

Coca Cola Masters Social Media Leaving Me.... Thirsty.

Absolutely unbelievable. My dream came true.
For somebody else.
206 Countries. 365 Days. 1 Mission.

Coca-Cola is sending a team of Happiness Ambassadors around the world to visit 206 countries in 365 days. Their mission: Find out what makes people happy.
Say Hello to your Happiness Ambassadors. They'll start Expedition 206 in January 2010.
This is what I had in mind with my McDonalds Enduro. Only I couldn't articulate it right. And I didn't pitch it to the McDonalds Corp. And I just kind of sat around on my butt. Coulda Shoulda Woulda.
I think there are a lot of big companies out there thinking the same thing. Coulda Shoulda Woulda.
As usual, nobody says it better than Mashable, here's a brief excerpt:
"We’re constantly seeing new examples of big companies — and big brands — embracing and using social media to connect with customers. Still, it’s impressive to see a company the size of Coca-Cola, not only talk the talk, but actually follow-through. At lunch yesterday, we got a chance to hear about the origins for Expedition 206 and it became very clear that Coca-Cola gets social media....
The idea for Expedition 206 was kick-started by Clyde Tuggle, the senior vice president of Global Public Affairs and Communications for Coca-Cola. This is interesting for two reasons: 1) this initiative started from the top — the higher-ups didn’t have to be convinced of the power of social media and 2) this blurs the traditional lines and roles that exist between PR and marketing teams.
Tuggle made it clear that Coke knows that they don’t own the brand — the consumers own the brand. Thus, who better to trust to spread the message of happiness than those consumers? Mr. Tuggle reiterated the importance of authenticity, accountability and transparency when communicating with customers and is committed to making sure those are key parts of the Expedition 206 adventure....

With Expedition 206, Coke is really doing something unique. Not only are they letting the winners travel the globe to visit all 206 markets, they are going to utilize the social web along the way.
This is how it works: other than airfare, the team members will have to make their own way across the world. They have a schedule of stops, but they have to get their own food, find their own places to stay and meet up with the locals themselves. The team is going to be given per diem for food and local travel, but what they do and where they do it is pretty much up to the team members — and the people at home interacting with the Expedition 206 team online......

Along the way, people at home can recommend places to stay or must-see attractions, restaurants to definitely visit — or avoid — and more. Who knows, if the team happens to be in your area — you might even want to meet up for a Coke or show them something cool in your area.

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