ATLANTA , Oct. 21, 2009 – Countless people have taken a year off to travel, but nobody has ever embarked on a trip quite like this before — 206 countries, covering 150,000 miles in just 365 days.
From Aruba to Zimbabwe and nearly every nation in between, a team of three young people will attempt to visit 206 countries where Coca-Cola is sold to seek out what makes people happy and share their happiness and enthusiasm with the rest of the world.
Dubbed ‘Expedition 206′, the year-long adventure throughout 2010 will bring Coca-Cola’s Open Happiness campaign to life as the travelers visit with people from different cultures, document their experiences and share stories of happiness throughout their journey.
People online around the world will play a critical role every step of the way, beginning with the opportunity to choose the team they want to see on the expedition. After an extensive search, Coca-Cola has selected nine finalists, but fans will make the final decision by visiting www.Expedition206.com through Nov. 6, 2009, to vote for their favorite candidates. Fans can vote once each day throughout the three-week voting period.
“Coca-Cola, enjoyed by people in more than 200 countries, has always tried to express a positive view of the world,” said Shay Drohan, senior vice president of sparkling beverages, The Coca-Cola Company. “Expedition 206 gives us an opportunity to celebrate that optimism and happiness on a global scale in a very personal way. Sharing stories about what makes people happy is a unique way we are bringing our “Open Happiness” campaign to life.”
Beginning in Madrid on Jan. 1, 2010, and culminating with a celebration at the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta on Dec. 31, 2010, the story of the happiness ambassadors and their adventure will play out online with content for fans to follow via the expedition’s online headquarters at www.Expedition206.com, as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr and other social networking sites.
“This mash-up of social media — online photo galleries, video clips, blogs, microblogs, social networking — combined with an amazing journey, enthusiastic travelers and a theme of happiness is a great way for us to connect with people around the world,” said Adam Brown, director, Office of Digital Communications and Social Media, The Coca-Cola Company. “The global adoption of social media has given us a way to deliver a year-long reality TV series without the TV.”
Fans engaging with the Expedition 206 Web site and other interactive online content will serve as virtual travel agents for the expedition team, giving suggestions on where they go, what they do and who they visit in each market. The expedition will make stops in cities big and small, visiting everyday people and marquee global events, such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Canada, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, and the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China .
The diverse group of candidates includes finalists from the United States, Canada, China, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Belgium and Denmark. The candidates include:
Dave Zwolenski, 27, an amateur film producer from Sydney, Australia
Josephine Rosetzsky, 27, from Copenhagen, Denmark
Sam Li, 21, born in Shanghai, China and now a student in Vancouver, Canada
Antonio Santiago, 24, a university student from Mexico City, Mexico
Kelly Ferris, 22, a university student in Brussels, Belgium
Tony Martin, 29, who grew up in the U.S. and now teaches kindergarten in Munich, Germany
Greer Cornish, 26, a digital media producer from Sydney, Australia
Brendan Madden, 31, living in Beijing, China and originally from the U.S.
Erin Guler, 28, whose parents are from Turkey and is currently a writer in Toronto, Canada
The route map with approximate dates of the tour is available at www.Expedition206.com.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with nearly 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola®, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company’s portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke®, Fanta®, Sprite®, Coca-Cola Zero®, vitaminwater, POWERADE®, Minute Maid® and Georgia® Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate of nearly 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.