by Jonathan Haile
Perhaps the most idealistic take on social media would be its ability to make the world a better place by connecting those who normally wouldn’t be connected. What the Coca-Cola Company has done in India and Pakistan isn’t exactly social media, but they have utilized technology to connect people in a very unique and peace-promoting way.
The message is simple: When your countries are at political and religious odds, a can of Coke will make things a little bit better. Coca-Cola placed one interactive vending machine in Pakistan and another in India. Using cameras and 3D touchscreen technology, the customers in opposite countries could see each other, place theirs hands on the machine, trace a shape (a heart or a peace sign) on the screen and each person would get a can of Coke. For all the magic, check out the video below:
Pretty neat stuff, wouldn’t you agree? It’s not every day we hear about a big company creating this kind of experience. It’s an extremely unique and daring way to build relationships with customers that certainly could have ended badly for Coca-Cola. At Innovative Public Relations, we’re big fans of new ideas. This certainly meets the criteria.
Coca-Cola’s vending machines, like everything else, keep evolving. The continue offering different types of “soda buying” experiences. Making vending machines a social experience doesn’t seem too far off. While we wait for the next wave of vending machines in the United States, we’ll be eager to see what other countries Coca-Cola will be connecting.