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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 5, May 2012, Posted On: 5/11/2012

Flatline Added-Value Initiative Debuts 3 Vend Items, Online Support

Hank Schlesinger
vending, bulk vending, flat vending, Flatline Corp., Flatline Added-Value Initiative, digital consumables, Mike Sievwright, novelty vending, vending machine supplies, vending machine toys, coin machine, coin-op machine

Flatline Digital Apps

APPLETON, WI -- Flatline Corp. is moving into digital media product tie-ins with its new Added-Value Initiative, which rolls out with two bulk vending lines, an unusual imaging application and online programming to supplement them.

Leading off the program is Karma Kidz, an alien-themed figurine series available in both 1" and 2" capsules. Included in each capsule is a Quick Response code that young consumers can scan into their smartphones or other portable devices to visit the product website. The site includes extensive profile information on the characters, as well as their back-stories.

A second capsule product line, Guns & Stuff, includes a QR code that directs bulk vending consumers to a website where they receive the chance to play the popular online game, World of Tanks.

Third in Flatline's added-value program is a free downloadable application for the iPad and iPhone. Created specifically for Flatline, this app allows users to take pictures of themselves or their friends, and then superimpose a "digital tattoo" on the subject, drawing on Flatline's array of temporary tattoo designs.

While Flatline is not the first supplier to supplement bulk products with an online presence, the company is the first to launch a program aimed specifically at creating an Internet presence across multiple product lines and categories.

"What we're doing is adding value to the product our operators are putting into the machine -- without adding cost to the product," said Flatline's Mike Sievwright. "The value we're adding is on the Internet."

According to Sievwright, each purchase leads consumers to the Internet sites or app, enhancing collectability and spurring additional purchases. "If they just stay on the Internet, that doesn't do operators any good," Sievwright explained. "There has to be a synergy between the bulk vended product and the digital content."

The program, Sievwright said, is still in its early stages. However, some of the planning for it has been in the works for a year or more. "We're going to monitor and analyze the program carefully," he said. "I'm sure it will change and grow. It's an ongoing process."

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