SINGAPORE -- Hugs are the only form of payment accepted by a Coca-Cola vending machine installed at the National University of Singapore.
Instead of sporting the iconic red and white Coke logo, the machine's front says "Hug Me." And rather than inserting money, patrons wrap their arms around the sides of the vender to get a free can of Coke. | SEE YOUTUBE
"The Coca Cola Hug Machine is a simple idea to spread some happiness," explained Leonardo O'Grady, ASEAN IMC director of Coca Cola Co. "Our strategy is to deliver doses of happiness in an unexpected, innovative way to engage not only the people present, but the audience at large. Whether you were hugging the machine or experiencing the event online, our goal was the same -- to put a smile on your face and share that emotional connection."
While the machines are only deployed in Singapore, people have sent pictures and videos across the globe using social networks. The beverage giant said it plans to introduce more Hug Machines in locations across Asia.
The campaign was created by Ogilvy & Mather as part of Coca Cola's global "Open Happiness" campaign launched in 2009. The marketing initiative kicked off in the U.S. with a vending machine at the Queens, NY, campus of St. John's University that delivered "small doses of happiness" to unsuspecting college students, in the form of everything from fresh flowers to pizza. | SEE STORY