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CocaCola freestyle machine

Adobe’s SUMMIT – The Digital Marketing Conference

The Adobe Summit conference took place in Salt Lake City March 9-13 with the theme, “Marketing Beyond Marketing” and featured Adobe’s Marketing Cloud.

One session was on Coca-Cola, a brand that has found a way to reach a new generation for 128 years. Laurie Buckingham, the Chief Development Officer from the product side of company, spoke on how Coca-Cola is using marketing beyond marketing to continue to reach consumers and create the happiness experience for all. She asks, “How can we bring that experience to everyone in the world?” Considering how every country can relate to their country’s flag, they asked people to send in their selfies during the FIFA World Cup. They then used those selfies from 150 countries to create a digital flag. People could download an image of the flag and zoom into their own photo.

Laurie says you need to surprise people. They put Coca-Cola vending machines on college campuses during finals week, a stressful time for college students. The vending machines turned out to be hugging machines. A student walks up to the machine, gives it a hug, and they are given a Coke. And who couldn’t use a hug during a stressful study session?

They also had what they called the Small World Machine. There were two machines with connected screens so the people standing at the screens can see each other. One machine was set up in a mall in Pakistan and one in India. People lined up for hours. The person at each machine does what the machine asks them to do (i.e. dance, draw something on the screen). Then they each get their drink. Even though these two people are in two different countries and are strangers to each other, this experience makes them feel connected.

Most of us have seen the Freestyle Machines, set up in many restaurants and movie theatres, where you can dispense your own fountain drink, using a menu of many flavors and varieties.

Using Adobe’s Marketing Cloud, it is possible to change the interface of each machine’s screen remotely, including graphics, color and menu. Coca-Cola can pull up data from every Freestyle machine in the country and find it’s location and activity. So say I want to mix my fountain drink, call it “Lisa’s Mix” and share it with my friends through a mobile app. What if there were cameras or some sort of customer recognition set up on each machine so when I walk up to a machine in a location I have never been, it recognizes me and asks me if I want to dispense my most recent choice, “Lisa’s Mix”? Coca-Cola may not be far from that possibility. Personally, I like pushing the buttons on the screen to come up with the choice myself. That’s part of the fun.

Why do I work at AWG? I appreciate having the opportunity to use my creative and web development skills to assist our retailers in marketing their stores. AWG is a reputable company and the marketing department consists of a great team, working together in a fun environment. Plus I love to eat! I especially like trying new products.