Pepsi has come up with a pretty crazy idea for their drink vending machines. The company is trying to integrate social networking with soda. Here’s how these new experimental vending machines for sale will work: You buy a soda for your friend. You then give the machine your friend’s name and cellphone number (creepy much?). If you want, you can even record a video or send a long a personalized message text message. Your friend then receives the text along with a code and must go to the machine to get his free drink.
You can also buy drinks for strangers, which Pepsi is calling a “random act of refreshment.” While I understand their intentions are good, wouldn’t it just be nice if you actually called your friend and invited him out for a Pepsi and perhaps a candy bar from the vending machine? This type of social networking is hardly very social at all.
Pepsi is also launching this new machine as they continue to increase their prices. They plan on spiking product prices in the second half of the year. Doesn’t sound like a wise decision. Most people won’t be very “social” if they can’t afford to purchase a drink for their friends.