Coke to send ‘Happiness Ambassadors’ around world

Coca-Cola will run a social media campaign in which three brand ambassadors will spend next year traveling the world and documenting their trip on the Web.

These “happiness ambassadors” will travel to 206 countries around the world where Coca-Cola is sold, with the mission to find out “What makes people happy?” Armed with a blog and a video camera, the group’s steps will be tracked on, where fans can follow the journey and find out more information about the ambassadors and their efforts. Coke worked with Atlanta-based experiential agency ignition on the effort.

The Coca-Cola brand is trying to build on online momentum, said Petro Kacur, senior manager of worldwide public affairs and communications at Coca-Cola.

“Our brand is constantly being referenced online, whether it is in blog posts or in Tweets or in YouTube videos or in photos on Flickr pages,” he said. “We wanted to harness all of that social media activity through a unique program.”

Toño, Kelly and Tony, the three brand ambassadors, will begin their journey in Madrid on January 1, 2010, and spend all of next year traveling the world, finishing up in Atlanta on December 31. Their stops will include the Coca-Cola-sponsored Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, and the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Consumers in these places can follow their activities and recommend tourist sites and restaurants and even meet up with them in person.

“It is very interactive,” added Kacur. “The online community will be able to interact with them regularly.”

The happiness theme is tied into the “open happiness” campaign that Coca-Cola launched in January. The ongoing effort, created by Wieden & Kennedy, also employs social media to promote the concept of Coke making people happy. The effort included online video, social media and TV.

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