The Coke vending machine you hug to get a pop from
The world’s vending machines have come a long way.
Gone are the days when flat pop and stale chocolate bars are all that come bouncing out. Now you can get gold, burgers and fries and even fresh bread.
But paying for vending machine goods, it would appear, is for suckers.
In Singapore, all you need to get a Coke is a hug.
Part of a new marketing campaign in the Asian city-state is this fancy new vending machine with no buttons and no coin slot.
Instead, the worlds “Hug Me” sit across the front in white, emulating the popular Coke logo.
A tight squeeze of the front of the machine, which is featured at the National University of Singapore, and a Coke spits out the bottom.
It’s a cute gesture, yeah, but in fact Coca-Cola’s no dummy. There’s a very real business purpose here aside from some nifty P.R.
“It’s a good way to foster strong and enduring affective bonds between consumers and the brand,” Schulich School of Business marketing prof Markus Giesler tells the Star.
“A brand that’s high up on a billboard wants to dominate me, but a brand that can be hugged wants to be my friend. Brands expropriate human gestures in order to make us look at them, not as immaterial entities, but as friends, as animistic characters who can do something for us, and thereby we need them, they become indispensible.”
The Hug Machine is part of Coke’s “Open Happiness” campaign, which has been running since 2009.