“Social media has finally gone too far.” That was my first thought when I read a press release from PepsiCo about its new “social vending machine.” But after further review, I have to admit the machine seems to have some interesting social gifting opportunities.
Consumers will be able to use the vending machine to enter a recipient’s name and mobile number, and send him or her a personalized text message with a gift. The recipient can then redeem the gift at any “PepsiCo Social Vending Machine,” where he or she can also send a return gift to that consumer or another friend.
The vending machine seems like a good idea, but it will be interesting to see how widely Pepsi distributes it. If they’re not convenient for consumers to use, the technology inside them will only go to waste.