Coca-Cola's largest social media project ever has come to an end. The company's three "happiness ambassadors" have completed a journey of more than 275,000 miles, 186 countries and 365 days in search of happiness.
The trio -- Tony Martin, 29, a Washington , D.C. , native now teaching kindergarten in Munich; Kelly Ferris, 23, a university student from Brussels; and Antonio Santiago, 24, a university student from Mexico City -- began on Jan. 1, 2010, armed with laptops, video cameras, smartphones and the like, and set off to visit 206 countries and territories where Coca-Cola is sold. They arrived back at Coke headquarters in Atlanta Dec. 29, 2010, just before the dawn of the New Year.The journey, tracked and documented via multi-media at www.Expedition206.com, as well as through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, has generated some 650 million media impressions around the world, according to an account in Advertising Age.
The Chinese instant-messaging service QQ reported receiving a billion visits related to Expedition 206. There were 10 billion virtual stamps, created by the ambassadors in each country using Haibao, the mascot for the 2010 World Expo, traded through QQ as well.
The group made appearances at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Canada, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Shanghai 2010 World Expo in China.
The campaign bolstered Coke's Facebook presences in markets around the world including New Zealand, Argentina, Ukraine, Spain and Uruguay. In each country Coke's ambassadors went to, local advance teams trained in public relations and social media connected with local bloggers to amplify the "happiness" quest.
The campaign was designed to be very much a two-way communication, and fans and followers helped guide the trio to unique eateries, clubs and lodging, as well as to schools, skate-parks and other hang-outs that are not necessarily in a Fordor's Guide.
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