The campus of the National University of Singapore is a pressure cooker of sorts, occupied as it is with students rushing to and from classes in search of good grades. Somebody ought to give those kids a warm hug and a cold Coca-Cola... and now somebody's gone and done just that!
Well, sort of: the kids get their cola but they've gotta give a hug to get it and the recipient of their affection is none other then the Coke machine itself! “Happiness is contagious,” states Leonardo O'Grady, ASEAN IMC Director, The Coca-Cola Company. “The Coca-Cola Hug Machine is a simple idea to spread some happiness in an otherwise tense environment.”
The concept is a product of the creative minds at advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, and centers a regional initiative of The Coca-Cola Company's “Open Happiness” global marketing campaign.
“All you need to do is give the Coca-Cola Hug Machine a hug and it will love you back, by giving you a free Coke,” explained Louise Kuegler, Coca-Cola Regional Business Director at Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific. “Something simple and engaging, that lifts people's spirits and brings a smile to their face.”
The students at the National University of Singapore were certainly all smiles. “Reactions were amazing,” related Leonardo O'Grady. “People really had fun with it and at one point we had four to five people hugging the machine at the same time as well as each other! In fact, there was a long line of people looking to give hugs - it was really fantastic and heartwarming.”
According to the Coca-Cola Singapore website, the Coca-Cola Hug Machine has been so successful plans are afoot “to roll it out across Asia to bring the same happiness to consumers from other countries.”
A word of advice to the bigwigs at Coke and Ogilvy & Mather: bringing happiness is a concept with various meanings depending on one's point of view... such as, from inside a Coke machine costume in Japan. Sure you still want that free can of Coke? It may come at an unforeseen additional cost. (via Newslite and The Moderate Voice)