Promo girls handing out free cans of soft drinks is a common sight at sporting events and music festivals. The girls hand out samples without asking for anything in return as you provide the company with worthy publicity by walking around drinking the product.
But, it looks like the brands are now moving on from a promotional strategy that is more than 50 years old. This is after Internet and social networking platforms have started providing new ways to connect with the public.
Following this new culture, PepsiCo along with TBWA, a Belgium based ad agency, introduced the “The Like Machine” at the recent Beyonce concert in Antwerp, Belgium. The Like Machine is a vending machine with one unusual difference. Instead of dropping a few coins in to receive a can of Pepsi, fans of the soft drink are expected to like the official Pepsi page on Facebook.
PepsiCo had introduced the social vending machine earlier in the month, which allows you to send a beverage to your friends using the Internet.
“It is (The Like Machine) a new way of sampling which provides us with information, so we can immediately start communicating with our target audience.” said Jan Verlinden, Marketing Director of PepsiCo.
To avail this offer, the fans are expected to be in close proximity to the machine. This is because the censor inside the machine can read the Facebook app for a smartphone only if accessed from within a certain distance. Once the Facebook page is liked, the machine rolls out a can of Pepsi.
For people who don't own smartphones, the Like Machine comes with a touchscreen that can be used to log in to Facebook. The result is the same, with a can of Pepsi being rolled out. A timer ensures that the recipient is logged out of his Facebook account before the next person in the queue takes his turn.