It doesn’t need to be reiterated but if you’re thinking of starting a business, make sure it has “social” in the name somewhere. Social is so very, very white hot right now. Even Pepsi’s getting in on the social action with its new “Social Vending System” machines.
They’re just ordinary vending machines, right? Right?! Let’s ask Pepsi:
“Using digital technology, PepsiCo’s Social Vending System enables any user to gift a friend by selecting a beverage and entering the recipient’s name, mobile number and a personalized text message. There’s also the option to further personalize the gift with a short video recorded right at the machine. The gift is delivered with a system code and instructions to redeem it at any PepsiCo Social Vending system. When the recipient redeems their gift, they’re given the option of either thanking the original sender with a gift of their own or paying it forward and gifting a beverage to another friend.”
Aw, see now I feel bad for being so sarcastic about the whole thing. This is actually kind of cool.
For the time being, there will be only one Social Vending System in existence and it’ll be found “at the National Automatic Merchandising Association’s One Show in Chicago, April 27-29,” according to Pepsi’s press release. That’s like a who’s who in the automatic merchandising game, so it ought to be quite a scene–all those movers and shakers gifting Pepsis to each other. Livin’ large, as they say. They still say that, right?
More on TIME.com:
Social Shopping Is Big Business, but What’s So ‘Social’ About It?
The Facebook Fulcrum: Google’s 2011 Bonuses Hinge on ‘Social’
Google Targets Facebook ‘Like’ Button with Its Own ‘+1’ Button