Coca-Cola has turned its vending machines in more than just machines selling soft drinks. The company has used in recent years as brand ambassadors and has become one of his most powerful allies to reach consumers inset and then make them a viral phenomenon. Examples are varied. They are from the unseen machine for Valentine’s Day, the machine of happiness or that was a karaoke and only gave refreshments to singing.
The company has used its vending machines for a multitude of things and it worked quite well. The last experience being tested is to convert their vending machines free WiFi hotspots, which allow consumers free access to the network and keep them, yes, always near the soda machine.
The idea is being tested in South Africa, where the pilot is being developed in partnership with British Telecom. Coca-Cola has installed two vending machines that allow Internet connect without cost. From the outset, the consumer does not have to buy anything to access the network, but simply approach the machine.
The main objective of the idea is to reach students who have vending machines a key to do research for their academic work, or small business owners, who will find a position for fast network access. The machines are actually located in quite populated areas and quite pedestrian traffic. In fact, the launch of machines with WiFi has been communicated mainly through corporate social projects pathways associated with both Coca-Cola and BT.
Although, the truth is that the vending machine with free WiFi is another example of how brands can take advantage of the new realities and needs of consumers. “It’s a really interesting idea and a great example of the internet of things, or in this case one thing giving internet”, explains to MobileMarketer David Kovacs, vice president of business development GPShopper. Other brands are already, in fact, using the free WiFi as a lure to attract consumers.
A bet proximity marketing
The free WiFi is, in fact, one of the marketing tools they throw proximity of the companies. The proximity marketing is based on providing consumers with promotional information based on where they are located and with your permission. At first, and as possibly many consumers still remember, was what happened with Bluetooth connections: anywhere where brands wanted to share something, pointing to consumers that would connect via Bluetooth to a specific account and receive premium information, offers or exclusive content.
This technology has been obsolete today because consumers no longer really use their Bluetooth connections on their mobile to access information, especially when it is already internet to answer all your questions without having to download anything. And that’s where WiFi comes into play. Make consumers connect to free WiFi offering a brand is a perfect formula to get that information.
The advantages for brands are multiple and future practice will allow even more concrete and more beneficial for businesses and consumers actions. As the Internet progresses things, the options will also be more varied and diverse and vending machines with WiFi will be but an advance of what will be.
In the case of Coca-Cola it is not the first time that their vending machines become keys to access the network or extra content. In summer, also it tested a smart refrigerator in Australia, offering products to consumers based on parameters such as facial recognition or data mining social media, and also tested one that worked with beacons, these small devices that connect to mobile and allow access content, services or offers based on geolocation.