Coca Cola’s Expedition 206 Campaign — Learn Social Media by Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: Expedition 206

: Products and services


: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr

: Jan 2010

: 1 year

What is it about?

Coca-Cola is going big, real big, with this campaign! They are giving three people the chance of a lifetime to travel for 365 days to 206 destinations with only one mission: to search for and share the happiness of coca-cola with everyone they meet during their journey.

About the campaign

The campaign kicked off with the selection of the team; 9 people in 3 teams were competing for the chance to go on this journey. They had to get people to vote for them on the campaign’s website in order for them to be chosen as the team to go on the trip.

The twist, and there is always a twist, is that the winning team only have their airfares secured to them beyond that they have to sort themselves out. They will be given a perdiem for their food and local travel but they will have to secure their own lodging, figure out what to eat and where to meet the locals on their own.

The winning team –  Team The MIX – of Tony Martin, 30, a Washington, D.C., native who teaches kindergarten in Munich; Kelly Ferris, 23, a university student from Brussels; and Antonio Santiago, 24, a university student from Mexico City managed to win through a campaign carried mainly on Facebook and Twitter which helped them earn the majority of their vote, up to 75%, from outside of the USA.

Coca Cola's route map

Coca Cola's route map

The Expedition 206 started their journey on new years eve in Madrid and have already visited 70 countries; sharing their findings on what makes people happy and their experiences in the country through their updates on various social networks, from pictures and videos on Youtube and Flickr to blog posts and tweets on their corresponding accounts. Given the team member’s backgrounds, they each share their experiences in their own native tongue making the experience a truly global campaign that is relayed in three languages, English, French, and Spanish (between the 3 of them they speak 8 languages) which surely helps the campaign gain exposure to a wider audience.

The whole experience is aggregated on the campaign’s website allowing for a one stop shop for all the experiences and feeds that you need to keep up with the team and people are encouraged to interact with the team and help them out in their journey.

Buzz Generation:

Expedition 206 Team

Expedition 206 Team

Twitter Account(x206): 1,380+ Followers

Facebook Account(Coca Cola’s Fanpage): 5,395,000+  [not directly related to this event]

Youtube Channel(Expedition206): 840+ Subscribers

Honestly, seeing the numbers that the campaign has been pulling in after more than 4 months since it started was very disappointing, with the Coca Cola Fanpage having more than 5 million fans if even a small chunk of those people garnered interest in the campaign it would have gained a bigger following. Hell, it seems like the only people who are following the team are those who have met them on their journey or plan to meet them when they pass by their country!

Why did it do what it did?

While it’s interesting that we are seeing big names such as Pepsi and Coca Cola entering the fray of social media advertising yet I bet you that the folks at Coke are underwhelmed by the reception they are receiving for their latest campaign. To say the least, the enthusiasm they were building up for the launch of the campaign fizzled quickly, and I think a few factors contributed to this:

Happiness is too general! Spreading happiness is a nice and fluffy theme for a campaign and ties in well with the mission of a Coke funded research center dedicated to happiness, which no one heard of before. However, at the end of the day, there is nothing personal about this whole thing. Social media marketing is all about celebrating “personal” connections; it’s great that the happiness ambassadors are interacting with the world and relaying their experience through social media but… Why should I care?

Promotion! With so many campaigns making their rounds, there’s simply too much noise to notice campaigns that aren’t pushing their presence and Coke is not pushing at all. At least, make people and fans who visit your Facebook page learn of the campaign. The campaign is not even mentioned on their landing page. Not only that, but you also have to click more on the tabs to get to it.

Interaction! Yes, the people who are traveling the world are what is being showcased here but if you are not going to give the fans and the commentators some space to shine, there is little reason for them to come back to the site; hence, the interaction just dies off. There is very little interaction on any of the social media presences of the company.

What do you think of the campaign? Did you hear of it? Let us hear your thoughts.

: 1/5
: 2/5
: 2/5
: No
: 4/5

Comments and Reactions

5 responses to “Coca Cola’s Expedition 206 Campaign — Learn Social Media by Example”

  1. Beiruta says:

    For a multimillion – or even billion – dollar corporation, I really expected more than what they did, way more! They have the money and they should know how to better utilize their resources!

  2. […] Coca Cola’s Expedition 206 Campaign – Learn Social Media by Example ( […]

  3. M.Bamieh says:

    hmm why bother … if i was part of the team i'll be happy for doing it this way

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  5. Clarence chin says:

    Can anyone email me the link as of where and when can I register for this expedition for 2011?! Please? Thanks!

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