The Coca-Cola Company was the first beverage company to make its product a social media and viral phenomenon with its Happiness Machine. Now PepsiCo is taking the lead into the social media direction with its new Social Vending Machine. The machine lets users send free sodas to their friends by choosing a drink, entering the recipient’s name and mobile number into a personalized text message with a code that they can redeem at a fellow social vending machine.
If you’re really tech-enabled, you can also send a short video, recorded by the vending machine, of course, and send it to your friend while they enjoy their Pepsi product. If you’re feeling extra crazy, you can even send a free drink to a stranger, as a “random act of refreshment.”
Genius idea, Pepsi. Us social media junkies salute you.
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As of now, there are no capabilities to post on Facebook or Twitter when you utilize one of these snazzy social vending machines, which would make for the true social experience. We can imagine this happening in the near future though.
“Our vision is to use innovative technology to empower consumers and create new ways for them to engage with our brands, their social networks and each other at the point of purchase,” said Mikel Durham, Chief Innovation Officer at PepsiCo Foodservice. “Social Vending extends our consumers’ social networks beyond the confines of their own devices and transforms a static, transaction-oriented experience into something fun and exciting they’ll want to return to, again and again.”
The Social Vending System made its debut Wednesday at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago. PepsiCo says that it respects the privacy of its consumers and will not store email addresses and phone numbers unless permitted by the user, nor will it share contact information with other partners.