Coca-Cola to teach the world to be happy via social networking sites

LONDON - Coca-Cola is no longer content to merely teach the world to sing in perfect harmony - it now wants to teach the world how to be happy, appointing a team of Happiness Ambassadors to show us the way.

A team of three young people are to attempt to visit the 206 countries where Coca-Cola is sold in 365 days, finding out what makes people happy and sharing this with the world through social networking sites.

The campaign is called 'Expedition 206' and will run throughout 2010. Following in the footsteps of Tourism Queensland's 'Best Job In The World' campaign, Coca-Cola is asking the public to choose whom they would like to undertake the journey, from a shortlist of nine finalists.

The winners will begin their journey on 1 January in Madrid and end it in Atlanta on 31 December, at the World of Coca-Cola museum. It will be documented via the official Expedition 206 website as well as on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Flickr.

The public can engage with the campaign by acting as virtual tour guides, making suggestions as to where the ambassadors should go and what they should do when they are there.

Adam Brown, director of digital communications and social media at Coca-Cola, said: "This mash-up of social media — online photo galleries, video clips, blogs, microblogs, social networking — combined with an amazing journey, enthusiastic travellers and a theme of happiness is a great way for us to connect with people around the world.

"The global adoption of social media has given us a way to deliver a year-long reality TV series without the TV."

Voting for the finalists finishes on 6 November.

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