When consumers take a digital stroll through Coca-Cola’s corporate website, they’ll quickly realize that it has the look and feel of a news website.

Well, that’s done by design, because in late 2012, Coca-Cola solely dedicated the company website around brand storytelling and reporting. “Journey” is staffed with a team of bubbly brand journalists who unbottle stories about the 130-year-old soda pop maker’s business.

Earlier this month, fresh off of winning social media gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Coca-Cola’s quest for content kicked into another gear with JourneyxJourney when two of their millennial social strategists embarked on a 21-day cross-country expedition across America all in the name of some good ole brand storytelling.

JourneyxJourney’s purpose is to “connect and co-create content for millennials” through the exploration of food, sports, music and culture. And they’re taking soda storytelling seriously—further evidenced by the company’s grand unveiling of their “mobile brand publishing unit,” which is equipped with production gear, cameras, filming drones and editing equipment, trailing along for the ride in a 40-foot long mobile home.

The road trip started September 13 in Coca-Cola’s headquarters in Atlanta and culminates October 5 in Los Angeles.

Doug Busk, Coca-Cola’s global group director for digital communications and social media, who directly oversees Journey and other social and digital channels and initiatives, joined [a]listdaily to detail their refreshing approach to storytelling.

What is JourneyxJourney designed to accomplish for the brand?

JourneyxJourney, much like everything we do on our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey, will publish engaging stories of and around our iconic brands. We felt there was no better way to build those stories, and discover new ones, than a classic American road trip. On the very first day, in fact, JourneyxJourney received an invitation from one of brand Coke’s most dedicated fans, who invited us to visit his personal museum of Coca-Cola collectibles.

What is the story and narrative Coca-Cola is trying to convey?

Journey and JourneyxJourney seek to publish rich, share-worthy stories of all kinds about the company and our brands, to be sure, but, most importantly, people—our associates, fans and friends.


What kind of a conversation can we expect with the #JourneyxJourney hashtag?

JourneyxJourney is a storytelling road trip and social networks represent the best way to publish our experiences real-time. You can track #JourneyxJourney on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and our newly launched Snapchat handle to experience the road trip with us.

Why is content creation in the form of this brand publishing initiative a prudent next step for Coca-Cola marketing?

We have a long history of storytelling at Coca-Cola and Journey’s brand journalism represents simply another chapter in that evolution. The Journey team, which is a part of corporate public affairs and communications at the company, partners with marketing teams to source some of our most compelling content.

What other marketing promotions are in store for the “mobile brand publishing unit” moving forward?

The mobile brand publishing unit is an element of the JourneyxJourney experiential experiment. We’re excited to see how JourneyxJourney pans out and plan to evaluate the next opportunity for the unit based on the success of the content generated by the road trip.

Emily Bucherati (left) and Meagan Priselac will spend three weeks on the read co-creating content on for Coca-Cola.
Emily Bucherati (left) and Meagan Priselac will spend three weeks on the read co-creating content on for Coca-Cola.

The content is slated to be published for audiences in real-time across Coca-Cola’s social channels. Where do influencers fit into your social media budget?

In the case of JourneyxJourney, our influencers happen to be our intrepid road trip reporters Emily Bucherati and Meagan Priselac—who, not coincidentally, happen to be Journey’s in-house social network strategists. Leveraging that expertise, they will publish real-time stories across our social media channels. More generally, Journey always aims to produce authentic content that has influence.

What is your overall marketing strategy for Coca-Cola Journey? How are you leveraging the digital media property to better connect with consumers?

Journey, as the company’s digital magazine, is but one of a wide portfolio of digital engagement paths at Coca-Cola. The common thread among all these efforts is to engage people, especially millennials, where they live, which, increasingly, is digital and social media. The primary aim of Journey’s content is always on engagement, so we’re constantly following our readers to find new, unique ways to share our stories.

Follow Manouk Akopyan on Twitter @Manouk_Akopyan