Giving out free samples has just reached a new level.  A marketing agency teamed up with Pepsi to roll out a new idea that’s attracting a lot of attention: the “Like Machine.”

This new tool dispenses a can of Pepsi in return for a “Like”, not money.  When standing next to the machine, all you have to do is go to the Pepsi Facebook page on your smart phone and “Like” it.  You then are rewarded with a free can of Pepsi of your choice.

After you do this, a cold can of delicious Pepsi rolls into the palm of your hand.  Now, you can open it up and enjoy.A picture of three cans of Pepsi.

If the phone you have isn’t exactly smart, you can use the touch screen that was built in to the vending machine.  After entering your Facebook account information, the screen takes you to the Pepsi page where you can easily “Like” it.

The machine was brought to an enormous music concert and thousands of people flocked to the creative machine.  In return for giving a cold drink, Pepsi gains valuable knowledge.

They know exactly who enjoyed a nice chilled Pepsi.  Think of how even more effective the gigantic drink company can be when they know precisely what their fans like, what they want, and what they will pay for.

Coca-Cola, however, went to the other side of the world to try out a new campaign.  Coke vending machines were planted in India and Pakistan in an effort to calm tensions between the two countries.

Coca-cola icon. Picture of Coke bottle.These new innovative machines had 3-D screens that looked like a giant window.  Someone standing in front of it in Pakistan could seemingly look right into another machine in India.

The machines invited people passing by to interact with someone else in the neighboring country.  The machines made it look like people on both sides could “touch” hands, drawing different pictures like circles, a heart, or the peace symbol.

People could even dance in front of each other.  The social interactions are classic conflict resolution tactics.

Creative marketing campaigns that are engaging consumers interest are bound to be successful.  These two massive companies, while taking two different routes, show the power of social media and social interaction.

The more we understand the tools we have, the more we can do with them.  Combine that knowledge with a good idea and we can truly make a difference.

Jamie Bates