Coke vending machines offer digital downloads
Coca-Cola is to roll out digital vending machines that will allow consumers to buy ringtones and downloads with their soft drinks.
It is Coke's latest attempt to connect with the youth market using music and technology.
It has been testing the 'Urban Digital Vending' terminals in Ireland since last September and is now planning to roll them out in other markets, including the UK.
Coca-Cola is to purchase 220 of the digital vending machines to assess the market potential for the equipment, which sells games, pictures and ringtones as well as cans of drinks.
Interactive vending machines are already prevalent in Japan and Coca-Cola plans to enhance its 200,000 machines there with technology that will enable the company to accept payment via NTT DoCoMo and Sony mobile phones.
Coca-Cola intends for the technology to be in all Coke vending machines in Japan by the end of 2008.
The soft-drinks company has embarked on a series of initiatives to develop deeper relationships with youth.
This summer it launched a collaboration with iTunes to replace its music-download service Mycokemusic.com, which launched in 2004 (Marketing, 28 June).
It is also in the process of developing online communities as part of its digital music strategy.
This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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