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Dispensing Happiness: 12 Innovative Coca-Cola Vending Machines in Action

By:  Jay Moye Dec 3, 2013
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Small World Machine

Drink machines sure have come a long way over the years. Not to be outdone by their innovative counterparts at the soda fountain, modern vending units use cutting-edge technology and outside-the-box creativity to dispense more than drinks – entertaining, engaging and refreshing consumers with every transaction. Here are a dozen examples of interactive Coca-Cola vending machines from around the world:

1. Happiness Strikes

In 2010, a Coca-Cola vending machine delivered “doses” of happiness – everything from fresh flowers to pizza – to unsuspecting students on a college campus in New York. The hit viral video inspired dozens of similar stunts around the world and left Coke fans forever wondering, “Where Will Happiness Strike Next?”

2. Bust a Move!

This machine in South Korea coaxed people to mimic the dance moves of popular band 2 PM. Using Microsoft Kinect technology, the machine registered the dancers’ steps. The more moves they copied correctly, the more Coca-Cola the machine dispensed.

3. The Name's Zero. Coke Zero.

Coke Zero challenged train passengers in Antwerp, Belgium, to “unlock their inner 007” and win exclusive tickets to the James Bond movie Skyfall. But the passes weren't free. Commuters had to go the extra mile and complete a series of Bond-esque challenges in less than 70 seconds.


4. Small World Machines

High-tech vending machines installed in malls in Lahore, Pakistan and New Delhi, India – two cities separated by only 325 miles, but seemingly worlds apart due to decades of political tension – invited shoppers to set aside their differences and share a simple moment over a Coke.



5.  Hugs = Happiness

Vending machines need love, too. This unit at the National University of Singapore was programmed to dispense a Coke when someone gave it a hug. On a similar note, a special machine in Puerto Rico accepted smiles as currency this summer, rewarding consumers who shared their inner effervescence with an ice-cold Coca-Cola. Take a look.



6. The Heat is On

For the past two summers, Limon & Nada vending machines at select water and amusement parks in Spain have adjusted the price of the thirst-quenching lemonade depending on the outside temperature. When the mercury rose, the price dropped. Learn more.


Limon & Nada vending machine

7. 'Tis the Season for Song

Spreading the holiday spirit, one note at a time. This festive machine rewarded students at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, with a Coke when they sang their favorite Christmas carol.


8.  Hey Pal, Need a Lift?

To celebrate International Friendship Day, Coca-Cola Argentina installed this 12-ft.-tall vending machine, which could only be reached with a boost from a buddy. Friends who completed the task received not one, but two, Cokes.



9. Roses are (Coke) Red

On Valentine's Day 2012, this machine dispensed Coca-Cola to couples in a shopping mall in Istanbul, Turkey, who demonstrated their love for each other through a hug or kiss.



10. Going for the Gold

To celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in London, this giant vending machine offered Great Britain a Coca-Cola.



11. Recycling Happiness 

During the week leading up to Earth Hour 2012, Coca-Cola Singapore found an innovative way to boost recycling rates in the country. Consumers who recycled their empty beverage bottles were rewarded with gifts such as fresh flowers and Coca-Cola t-shirts, bags and caps made from, you guessed it, recycled plastic bottles.



12. Buying the World a Coke

Google partnered with Coca-Cola for a unique advertising experiment: to re-imagine the brand's iconic “Hilltop” commercial from the 1970s using modern-day technology. Consumers could literally “buy the world a Coke” by sending a stranger in a faraway country a beverage using a mobile app linked to special vending machines.

Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments below.