Maureen Chowdhury, wtop.com
WASHINGTON - Are hugs a new form of currency? Coca-Cola thinks so.
The company launched a new "Hug Me" marketing campaign in Singapore recently, installing a vending machine at the National University of Singapore that exchanges Cokes for hugs instead of cash. Coke lovers need simply squeeze the vending machine to receive a cold can of Coke.
The machine itself is designed like any other soda machine, except the familiar red and white logo says "Hug Me" instead of Coca-Cola.
According to Forbes, the effort is part of a trend in interactive consumer marketing. The campaign, created Oglivy and Mather, is taking the idea of "social gestures," such as liking or commenting on Facebook statuses, into real world situations.
It's not surprising that Coke is using social media tactics to reach out to its consumers. The company was named the No.1 global brand in social media by Covario. The campaign also targets Coke's main competitor, Pepsi, which recently rolled out its own $600 million marketing campaign.
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