Expedition 206 – could this be the best digital campaign ever?
I cannot think of a more global and class-less brand than Coca-Cola. It is available in nearly every country in the world (North Korea, apologies) and, as Andy Warhol once said, President of the USA cannot get a better coke than the bum on the corner.
So with that, I give you Expedition 206 – Coca Cola’s big digital experiment for 2010.
On January 1st, 2010, 3 Coca Cola Ambassadors will visit 206 countries (the number of countries Coca Cola is sold in) to seek out, discover and celebrate the epitome of “happiness” as it presents itself across different people, places and cultures.
The campaign communicates Coca Cola’s “Open happiness” mantra perfectly, and demonstrates the potential digital media has (just in case you needed further convincing!).
Expedition 206 uses a drool-worthy list of digital platforms – Twitter, Facebook, blogging, vlogging, crowd sourcing, meet ups and consumer generated content.
But will it all work? Two recent campaigns that have a similar ‘vibe’ come to mind. One worked. One bombed. Twice.
Bebo’s Gap Year (now sponsored by Air New Zealand) showed that people will watch branded content (if it’s good). The hijinks of a select group of young adults travelling around the globe provided great (branded) escapist entertainment.
However, VAustralia’s similar v4320la and, recent rehash, v4320syd did not attract a large audience at all (or even an average sized one). Great content was produced, but no one saw it!
So, why did one campaign succeed and one fail? Gap Year pushed content into Bebo, VAustralia pulled people from elsewhere to their content.
Although creating their own content meant that VAustralia had full ownership of the content – no one saw it! The digital Field of Dreams does not exist - if you build it, they may very well not come!
High Bebo membership (and frequency of visit) meant that Gap Year sponsors (and now Air Zealand) got their brand message in front of more eyeballs. Sure, they didn’t have full content control, but through picking the right property, their brand integration was seamless.
I’m sure they also saved a lot of money on production too.
Will Expedition 206 be a success or a failure? Well, their Twitter account only has 110 followers as I write this. A pretty poor effort there.
However, Expedition 206 content is being fed into Coca Cola’s Facebook fan page, one of the biggest (if not the biggest) pages on that social network. Nearly four million people will have content from Expedition 206 streamed into their Facebook news feeds for the next twelve months.
It may look like another victory for push over pull, but I’m sure the Twitter feed followers will build as word gets around from the Facebook fans.
Expedition 206 is a great use of both digital push and pull strategy, and I really hope it is a success for all parties. My hat goes off to the king of conversation, Joseph Jaffe and to The Coca Cola Company for pushing the digital envelope further.
And Coca Cola, if you need another ambassador, please get in touch!<—>