Vending machine asks for hugs, dispenses free Coca-Cola

Who doesn't love a good vending machine technology breakthrough? There was the dessert machine that only gives out sweets to adults. Or, the one that scans you and guesses what you want to purchase. Now, there is the machine that dispenses sodas in exchange for a hug — no cash required.

Before you all start rushing out and start hugging random vending machines, I should mention this warm and fuzzy machine is currently only found in Singapore. Looks like we'll have to wait for one to hit our shores.

It's a pretty canny little marketing stunt by Coca-Cola, where getting the user to stand in front of a vending machine is halfway to closing the deal. In this case, not only does the team get people in front of the machine, they've got you hugging it. Or at the very least, watching people hug it.

Toss in the freebie, and you've got the mother of all successful promotions.

According to Ogilvy & Mather, the ad firm that ran the campaign, the trial run of the "Hug Me" machine was such a success that many embraced the campaign via social media (free soda might have had a hand in that) and they expect Coca-Cola will roll out further machines across Asia.

Details on whether the machines are only available on a pop-up basis, or whether they are limited use were not disclosed. The company also did not indicate whether the machines would be used in a U.S. based promotion.

I have to say I'd be happy to get a free Coke every once and a while, so when they do arrive in the U.S. if you sees a brunette with tattoos hugging a Coke machine, you'll know it's me.

Ogilvy & Mather, via Tecca

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