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It’s a commercial that brought tears to my eyes back then and still does.  Mean Joe Green hobbling down the tunnel.  A young boy offers him a Coke and after a little persuading, he takes it.  Then he smiles.

That “Have a Coke and a Smile” campaign was iconic and something worth remembering.  As part of a promotion with MurphyUSA, I was able to participate in a similar campaign.  I spent the month of January handing out bottles of Coca-Cola – some to family and friends but most to total strangers.  The cost to them?  A smile and a photo.  The cost to me?  Well, Murphy USA was running a promotion for 2 bottles of Coca-Cola for $2.22 along with the time to deliver them.  (As a bonus, each time I was there, I checked in via Whrrl for chances to win prizes like $50 in free gas or Reese’s peanut butter cups from the Murphy society.)

When I started this adventure, I was nostalgic and thought of the old commercials.  But as I explained to each of the recipients why I was doing this, I realized that it was a great meeting of traditional marketing and modern marketing.  Not only that, but it shows the ‘social’ side of social media.

Each time I gave a Coca-Cola and received a smile, I felt inspired.  In a time where people can be skeptics constantly asking “What’s the catch?”, it was great to see that most of the people who I asked if they would accept this gift actually did.  I choose to believe that it brightened each of their days.

Edited: I chronicled each experience on Whrrl in slide show form but unfortunately Whrrl was bought out and the app and website dissolved. Hope you enjoy the compilation video of this great promotion!

Murphy USA is always offering up promotions via their various social media outlets.  If you’re interested in learning more about Murphy USA and their promotions, visit their website or blog, fan them on Facebook, follow them on Twitter, subscribe to them on YouTube and sign up for their e-offers!

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