Novel sampling channels are all the rage, and Vitaminwater —whose current campaign is themed “Drink Outside the Lines” — is no exception.
From June 24 through the summer’s unofficial end, the Coca-Cola brand used colorful, interactive, musical sample-dispensing vending machines to engage prospective customers and gather their email addresses.
The “Summer Jams” touchscreen machines, surrounded by large signs for Vitaminwater, were installed in three locations favored by millennials: Brooklyn’s Williamsburg area, Manhattan’s Lower East Side and Venice Beach, Calif.
The machines invited consumers to select one of the Vitaminwater bottles pictured, then challenged them to watch the pattern of bottles lighting up as a tune played, and repeat it. Once executed correctly, participants were asked either to provide an email address or visit freevitaminwater.com to enter a PIN displayed on screen before a free bottle was dispensed.
“It seems like a lot of work for a freebie (personally, I’d rather have them handed to me by a chocolate bunny), but some tourists seemed to be enjoying it the other night,” commented NYC blog Bedford and Bowery.
Nevertheless, the novelty seems to have attracted quite a bit of action.
According to Pearl Media, the out-of-home company that supplied the machines, working with agencies Rapport, Ogilvy & Mather and UM on the campaign, the installations generated a combined total of more than 40,000 interactions and 14,000 emails, and more than 26,000 bottles were dispensed.
In addition, another 10,000-plus bottles were given out by human brand reps (albeit not in bunny suits).
A video captured some of the on-the-street interactions with the vending machines.