The Cola Wars have largely been publicized on the single serve front with more recent TV commercials taking the fight to the diners and delivery trucks, and also extending out to Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. While Coca-Cola started gaining press for their vending machines dispensing you a beverage when you sing, dance, or hug the machine, Pepsi seemed to be dormant on this front of the Cola War. Well it turns out that Pepsi did in fact respond, but BevWire may have been hiding under a rock when those news articles gained popularity. The video above shows you that Pepsi will give you a free Pepsi of your choice if you like them on Facebook. Really nice touch of layering in social media to their existing vending technology. Should this vending machine come to the United States and Canada, this will certainly extend the Cola War over to the vending machines.
While Coca-Cola has innovated on their fountain unit – the Coca-Cola Freestyle – they still have not integrated any form of social media aspects directly into the machine. Sure, there is a smartphone memory game for the user to play and guess/create your own fountain concoction, but there is no social media integration on the machine itself. This is where Pepsi’s vending machine is unique. Pepsi is generating social media currency by sampling their trademark beverages to consumers. This currency makes the Facebook user proclaim their enjoyment of Pepsi, and certainly allows Pepsi to collect consumer demographic information similarly as well. In a time when the grocery shopper buying your product is not the same person that ends up consuming the product, the vending machine allows you to connect directly with the end user. While there may be certain privacy laws governing this, but Pepsi will essentially be able to capture information about the user’s location data, sex, age, school, work and anything else the Facebook user puts on the social network.
So on the vending machine front, while Coca-Cola has you singing, dancing, and hugging their machines to open happiness, they still don’t know exactly who you are and where you live. The Pepsi vending machine does. This gives them a slight edge on the vending machine front of the Cola War. Your turn to respond Coca-Cola.