Sing for your snack

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2013, Business, Design, marketing

As part of their global happiness project prior to Christmas, Coca Cola released a ‘sing for your supper’ style vending machine. The interactive vending machine, called the less than inventive ‘Sing For Me Vending Machine’, had a digital touch screen which allowed aspiring Christmas carol artists to choose and sing a Carol in their best outside voice. Using the microphones provided, the machine rewarded singers if the song was sung roughly in tune with a free of charge, but not free of humiliation, Coke.

But this is not the first time Coca Cola have garnered some attention for their vending machine hi-jinks.

Another example of a clever cola distribution point was a  machine that was released in preparation for the release of the latest Bond flick, Skyfall, created by the same guys who did TNT’s  ‘A dramatic Surprise.  In “Unlock the 007 in you. You have 70 seconds.”, Coke Zero challenged unsuspecting train passengers at Antwerp Central station in Belgium to embody Bond for 70 seconds.  When the soda drinking enthusiast approached the machine to order a Coke Zero, they were offered an exclusive chance to win tickets to see the aforementioned Bond film.  Upon entering their name, respondents were given 70 seconds to dash through the train station to reach another platform, whilst rising to the challenge of overcoming various hilarious Bond-like obstacles along the way.

But the list of inventive vending machines continues to live, to day another die as there was also the Coke machine that opened up into a winter wonderland;

Yet another discerning vendor slipped a solitary coke when hugged’;

And another Coke machine rewarded would be drinkers who agreed to dance to/with it;

However, it would be erroneous to suggest that Coca Cola have the monopoly on inventive vendors. There is the beer branded machine that gives a free beer when you tackle it (which does nothing to eradicate the stereotype of drunks being violent, but nonetheless sounds like heaven);

One that screams at people while they wait for their coffee

And finally, one that demands twister-esque (as in the board game) feats at your local place of transit;

The brand of carbonated and sugared canned drinks aside, these scarily advanced vending machines share more than a single thread in common; they are a great idea that engages consumers with a brand for an inexpensive investment. Returning well beyond their weight in YouTube views, My Moustache and I think this could be a great opportunity to say ‘Who cares about the happiness? Let’s think about the health!. Let’s allowing these corporations the opportunity to make a positive social impact and return on the profits at the same time, by giving them this idea; Physical activity for food.

Whilst admittedly not as sexy as happiness, if these machines shifted their outlook to health (or health disguised as happiness) the results could be morbidly obese in scale. Exercise for soft drink? Stairs climbed for juice? Push ups for chips! Every machine could demand sweat for sweets. This could be the beginning of a corporate battle against the bulge. A battle that would be looked upon favorably by consumers. A battle that would turn profits, increase positive business image and increase conversation around the brand. You heard it here first.

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Innovative ventures. Creative pursuits. Writer. Insights Professional. Brand Strategist. Digital Venturist. Social Media Aficionado & Sustainability enthusiast. www.harrithomas.com/

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