Coke’s Times Square billboard goes interactive with Expedition 206

September 3, 2010

When Coca-Cola’s globetrotting team of “happiness ambassadors” visited the United States, New York City was probably the only place that would do their energy and enthusiasm justice. Tony, Kelly and Antonio — the three who make up the Expedition 206 team — have brought happiness, excitement and creativity to each of the 145 countries they’ve visited since January 1, and the U.S. visit had high expectations. It required a big idea, and Fast Horse and Coke collaborated to come up with an idea six stories big.

What better way to make a splash than by doing something Coke has never done: turning its massive digital billboard in Times Square into an interactive opportunity to put consumers’ faces in the big, bright lights of one of the busiest spots in the world.

Expedition 206 is all about discovering what makes people around the world happy. In Times Square, the three happiness ambassadors were joined by a street team while interviewing passers-by about their sources of happiness. After snapping a photo and hitting “send” on the street team’s iPhone, the consumer’s face would appear on the billboard within a matter of seconds. To complement the on-site interviewing, we also set up a page to collect submissions from Coke’s Facebook page and from the Expedition 206 Twitter account.

With a solid mix of on-site consumer engagement, online outreach, media relations and a wealth of digital content creation (a video crew was on hand, and the happiness ambassadors are content factories!), I think it’s safe to call the U.S. visit a success. After this visit, the team is off to 50 or so more countries and territories before returning to the World of Coke in Atlanta at the end of the year. Imagine the stories they’ll have to tell then!