Yesterday, soda make Pepsi announced their newest product – not a new soda, but a different kind of vending machine system. Riding on the popularity wave of everything social, Pepsi has introduced the idea of “social vending”.
No worries – you’ll still recognize the vending machines for what they are, but you’ll be able to do a few new tricks with them. The idea is to provide consumers with a touch screen interface, which allows consumers to send gifts – Pepsi products only, of course – to their friends. You can even record a short video via the same machine. The interface will ask you to select the product that you want to send as a gift and then prompt you to enter the recipient’s name and mobile phone number. You can also send a text message to accompany your gift.
How does the recipient actually get hold of the gift? By going to any social vending system unit and entering the necessary details. So ideally, you can be somewhere in Asia (if they do release the machines there) and send a Pepsi gift to a friend in the US. Oh, and just to make everything more social, the recipient can also opt to send a gift back. You know, as a way of saying thanks. (And then you send a gift back again – and the cycle goes on; and Pepsi makes more money.)
Honest thoughts: “social” can only go so far. While this social vending system is a novel idea, I can’t see the need for it. Is Pepsi aiming to be the Facebook of sodas? Then again, maybe I am being short-sighted. Oh, and maybe because I drink Coke anyway.
What do you think? Will the features of the social vending system be useful for you?