The whole “money in, can out” principle for vending machines as we remember it from our childhood has been changing rapidly over the past years in a diverse set of ways. From fresh fruit and pizza, to jeans and I-pods, almost any product can be conveniently purchased on nearly every street corner or office building, which in no doubt has built a trusting and reliable relationship between human and vending machine. Nonetheless, people today, with their interaction seeking, fast pace, and social media driven lifestyles, are always looking for new gadgets and sources of entertainment to fuel their curiosity. Naturally, beverage companies are investing heavily into research and development for marketing ideas for vending machines as about 11.9% of all soft-drink sales are made through this channel.
Minute Maid, Coca-Cola owned, began setting up Limon Y Nada vending machines in 18 popular summer vacation locations across Spain. These machines are by no means ordinary, as they react to temperatures and adjust the price accordingly. The thermostat is visibly located above to indicate the momentary offer. At 25 degrees Celsius or less the Limon Y Nada costs 2 Euros, at 26 to 29 1.40 Euros, and at a whopping 30 degrees or more only 1 Euro. All else aside, with the current economic down turn and record-breaking temperatures Coca-Cola is offering summer vacationers and partiers a great deal.
Momentum Madrid is the marketing mastermind behind this concept that has people all hyped up. Essential to its success is that this vending machine addresses brand barriers, allowing people to feel as though the multinational beverage giant is not the only one controlling the price. In a sense, the barrier becomes part of a game that appeals to the emotional operation system of the modern consumer.
It is clear, interaction is the name of the game for corporations who want to tap into this behavior. The South African based rooibos tea producer, Bos Brands, launched a vending machine model in Cape Town that responds to Tweets. The system is able to recognize Tweets containing the hashtag #BOSTweet4T and dispenses a free sample when the Tweet-er is in close proximity. The BEV machine, as it is called, is the only Twitter activated machine of it’s kind and travels to various locations in South Africa.
With social gaming being one of this year’s greatest phenomenons, it is certain that vending machines are the perfect marketing outlet for beverage companies. Young to old, men and women alike are active on various social media outlets across the globe, which provides companies with a broad audience. By combining innovative technologies and promotions, they are able to provide interactive entertainment to their customers in a way that unites reality and the virtual world.
Foto © Coca-Cola