Coca-Cola 'the friendship machine'

It's not often a brand will put an obstacle between its product and customers, but that's exactly what Coca-Cola did when it placed fully stocked 3.5m tall vending machines with unreachable coin slots across Latin America on world Friendship Day.

Ogilvy Argentina was briefed by Coca-Cola to find a way to celebrate Friendship Day, celebrated in June in Buenos Aires and February in the rest of Latin America.

The agency developed the idea of a ‘friendship machine’ which would encourage passers-by to work together in order to climb up and insert a coin into a giant Coke vending machine.

For their trouble, they would get two bottles of coke for the price of one. One for themselves, and one for a friend.

The campaign was rolled out to bemused consumers in Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras and Nicaragua.

It soon became clear that in order to take advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free offer, a leg-up from a friend was needed.

The campaign resulted in a 1075% up-lift in vending machine sales that day. Over the nine-hour period 800 bottles of Coke were drunk from each machine.

After the event thousands of comments were recorded on blogs and social networking sites documenting the campaign.