Angela Natividad's Live & Uncensored!

03 May 2011

Is Social Vending Anything Like a Happiness Machine...?

Pepsi's testing a touchscreen "social vending" machine that aspires to turn your thirsty impulse buy into a potential act of empowerment or goodwill.

Choose from three options: buy a drink, connect to the Pepsi Refresh Project or commit a "random act of refreshment" -- that is, gift a drink to somebody who deserves some carbonated sweetlove. Enter their name, mobile phone number and a personalised message; the machine will send that person an SMS with a code enabling them to redeem their beverage from any other "social vending" machine.

And not that I needed to invite the comparison, but hey, this reminds me a lot of Coca Cola's Happiness Machine, except infinitely more scalable, for obvious reasons: you don't need people living inside it, doling out six-foot subs and whatnot.

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