Social media took a step into the real world with Pepsi’s announcement of a social vending machine. According to the press release, Pepsi will launch its Social Vending System, a state-of-the-art networked
unit that features full touch screen interactive vending technology, enabling
consumers to better connect with PepsiCo brands right at the point of purchase.
A prototype of the Social Vending System will debut at the National Automatic
Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago, April 27-29. According to the release:
Using digital technology, PepsiCo’s Social Vending System enables any user to
gift a friend by selecting a beverage and entering the recipient’s name, mobile
number and a personalized text message. There’s also the option to further
personalize the gift with a short video recorded right at the machine. The gift
is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any PepsiCo
Social Vending system. When the recipient redeems his or her gift, they’re given
the option of either thanking the original sender with a gift of their own or
paying it forward and gifting a beverage to someone else.
A promotional video is available.
This innovative approach to integrating social media into everyday activities and to devices and appliances is part of a growing trend that is resulting in social media going well beyond just Facebook and other internet sites.
Judging from the patent filings that we monitor in this area, there is much more to come!. Many companies are filing patents for innovative uses of social media integrated into everyday activities and to use of social media for innovative advertising and brand engagement concepts.