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Some mighty strange things have happened to vending machines lately, with machines offering iPhones and live crabs and accepting smiles for payment (for real) and contactless payment (although some would argue that smiles are more viable).
But Pepsi has now rolled out a touchscreen vending machine that isn't primarily designed to actually give you anything to drink. It's an interesting intersection between social media, vending machines and CRM. In a "tis better to give than receive" mode, consumers walk up to the machine and can only use it to gift a drink to a friend or colleague (or, for that matter, a bitter enemy) by "selecting a beverage and entering the recipient's name, mobile number and a personalized text message" or "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," a Pepsi statement said.
This creative idea actually has some fascinating CRM potential.
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