Monday, March 15, 2010

Expedition 206: Coke’s Multi-faceted Fan Campaign

I recently posted a story here about how Coca-Cola is elevating discussion of its brand with community concepts. While attending the Ragan conference at Coca-Cola World Headquarters last month, I also got to hear about the nuts and bolts of Coca-Cola’s Social Media Strategy, courtesy of Adam Brown, Director of the Office of Digital Communications and Social Media for Coca-Cola (@adamcb).

While many companies are focused exclusively on conversations in America, Coca-Cola has 478 brands sold in 206 countries, so all their conversations are global! The Coca-Cola team’s approach is comprehensive and multi-faceted; too much to cover here. One campaign, however, is worth sharing.

Expedition 206, announced last year, puts three “happiness ambassadors” on a year-long tour to every country (206 of them!) where Coke products are sold. Fans submitted video applications to become one of the three who represent the company and fans voted on the final group. As well, fans have been determining where they go and what they do.

The tour kicked off in January and the team posts text, video and short reports on Expedition 206.

The Coca-Cola communications team had 6 months from idea to delivery, which, according to Brown was 6 months shorter than their usual planning cycle. While the idea came from the public relations side, the marketing team quickly got involved to add elements to the project.

According to Brown, their campaigns are focused on earning sustainable relationships, leverage existing audiences and grow those audiences for the future. Expedition 206 seems to fit all those parameters. Take a look at a short video announcing 9 finalists and how to vote for the winners. Or follow the team on Twitter @x206. Of course, we all want to hear about the results at year's end.

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