Pepsi Gives Away Free Soda with the “Like” Soda Machine

Pepsi’s most recent weapon it it’s marketing arsenal is their new “Pepsi Like Machine.”  This innovative new technology was unveiled at a recent Beyonce concert in Belgium, and was very well received by the tens of thousands of fans in attendance.

How does it work?

You start by approaching like you would any other vending machine.  Instead of pulling out a few dollar bills or some change, you interface with the touch screen at eye level.  Users simply use the touchscreen built into this web-connected vending machine to submit their Facebook email and passwords, and log in.  Once logged in they are directed to the Pepsi Facebook Page, where they are prompted to “like” the page.  You also have to chose which is your favorite kind of Pepsi.  Once this “transaction” has been completed, a frosty can of Pepsi is vended to the user.

Marketing. Genius.

To obtain Facebook likes through normal channels, such as Facebook pay-per-click can cost anywhere between $.20 and $.2.00 per like! While that might be how much a like costs to produce, market analysts claim that an actual Facebook like is worth up to $8.00.  Per my estimation, a can of Pepsi costs about $.15 to produce, including shipping and handling.  Not only did they get an amazing new channel to source likes, but the “like machine” itself will raise brand awareness to a whole new level and put Pepsi ahead in the cola race.

The marketing benefits don’t stop there.  Not only is Pepsi getting more likes, they are now providing their own interface for users to log into.  This could allow Pepsi to collect email addresses for re-marketing purposes, which is another added value in the equation.

pepsi like machine 2

What about the technology?

Supposedly users can also use your smartphone to like the page and get a Pepsi as well.  I sense some unfairness with this system.  What about the 16 million people who already like Pepsi? (Coke has 66 million btw) How does the machine determine who has already liked them, etc? Do they get a can if they liked them 2 years ago?  I’m sure they have it all figured out but I can imagine there are some frustrated/thirsty people in Belgium that want some answers!  According to the “most thumbed up” Youtube comment, you can’t like and unlike either, once you’ve liked the page the system auto-magically keeps track of who liked the page and no-pepsi-for-you, from there on out.

Also what is to stop someone from approaching the machine during a not so busy time and signing up with 100 free email accounts and walking away with gallons of soda?  I guess it is nothing new, vending machines have been tampered with as long as there have been vending machines.

So who’s winning the cola war?

The war of Coke vs Pepsi is something that will always just be.  Coke came out with a ton of new innovative ideas including the “split can” where you can tear a can of Coke in half to share it.  They also launched an initiate where people in India and Pakistan can send beverages to one another.

Coke has also just come out with “the world’s thinnest vending machine” for Diet Coke, which is another phenomenal marketing move.

Pepsi just cannot stop innovating.  Their precise marketing tactics has captivated millions of people and even made me stop and blog about it.

This was a great move and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

The Future

This really starts a new dialogue about the interaction between social media, humans, and smart devices.  We see it happening more and more with restaurants that have iPod kiosks, hotels with interactive review systems, and more.

It is only a matter of time before we start seeing more custom technology being built into our every day lives.

Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe is the founder and CEO of Elite Strategies Llc. Patrick takes a hands on approach to managing Elite Strategies and loves to get involved with technical projects relating to clients inbound marketing needs.
Patrick Coombe
Patrick Coombe
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