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The Nokia Gift Machine

by James Whatley on 20 September 2011

It’s Social Media Week this week and all across the globe, a multitude of key cities are gathering together to learn and discuss about the impact of social media on modern society today.

As part of our work with Nokia, global partner for Social Media Week, we’ve got teams all over the world helping with all kinds of different activations, similar to the work that we accomplished back in February.

At Social Media Week Glasgow however, we’re doing things a little differently.

Introducing The Nokia Gift Machine

Collection time!

Our brief was simple: how do you make the simple things you see around you, just that little bit more special?
Our response? We decided to create one of the world’s first Foursquare-enabled vending machines.

Unlike most machinery, the instruction manual is quite simple:

  1. Open Foursquare on your phone
  2. Find the Nokia Gift Machine @ SMW
  3. Check-in using the #NokiaConnects hashtag
  4. Share to Twitter
  5. Collect your prize

As demo’d below  –

Anyone following on Twitter last week would’ve spotted this teaser we put out when we first went to test the machine above, I’m fairly sure no one managed to guess what the image was going to be!

If you’re at Social Media Week Glasgow this week, make sure you get yourself along to the Sky Park on Elliot Place and give it a go!

PS. It doesn’t just hold candy y’know


Full press release

Other Vending Machine images



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  • Anonymous

    Cool, would love to have one of those here in my office, mind you would be checking in every hour for a candy bar LOL

  • http://twitter.com/NiTiSHmurthy Nitish S Murthy

    Brilliant Stuff! Love 

  • Anonymous

    Really fun use of Foursquare “in the real world”. :)

    Now… if only I could get to Glasgow to try it out….

  • http://www.ernmander.com ernmander

    Now if only you guys were still around Didcot way :)

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    It *might* be coming to the 1000heads offices afterward.

    Maybe 😉

  • http://farhanrehman.co.uk magitam

    Hope it does find it’s way down south 😉 Would be great to experience it!! What a great innovation!! Well done you guys!

  • Anonymous

    > PS. It doesn’t just hold sweets.

    PPS. For the US folks, ‘sweets’ == ‘candy’

  • http://twitter.com/v4ibhav Vaibhav Sharma

    That’s just wicked cool. Period.

  • http://twitter.com/oorkris Kris Haddow

    I just won a Nokia E7 smartphone from the Nokia Gift machine – thanks so much!

  • http://twitter.com/hypernaked John

    Seems a bit cheeky to talk about all of this without mentioning the obvious ‘inspiration’  – http://mashable.com/2011/03/29/german-billboard-dog-food-foursquare/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+Mashable+%28Mashable%29 <– the German billboard add that dispensed dog food in response to 4sq checkins. Come on guys, credit where it's due!

  • http://www.symbiantweet.com/ Fakhre

    Cool! – Really love to try out this “Nokia Gift Machine” 😉

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    Good guess, but wrong.

    The obvious inspiration is the Coca-Cola ‘happiness’ machine, and of course the ‘smile for an ice cream’ machine from last year.

    However We really have been kicking this idea around for some time now and, when it came to building it, the only *similar* thing we could was the Baseball machine that Showtime developed some time ago.

    With respect, we’re not in the business of ripping off ideas.

    Thanks for stopping by :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/simon.botes Simon Botes

    Lets hope it travels to Nokia World 2011 aswel 😉 

  • http://twitter.com/hypernaked John

    I don’t know – the Coke happiness machine is linked in that it’s a vending machine. Your machine doesn’t seem to share the same mechanic? The German billboard campaign has the same user mechanic – you check into an object-place through Foursquare and receive an instant prize through a product deposit. I suppose they could be developed independently but I follow a fair few at 1000Heads on Twitter and I know they at least at one stage knew about the billboard stunt.

    Ripping off is a little harsh, but you’ve got to admit, they’re remarkably similar.

    And you’re very welcome!

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    I’d be intrigued to know which ‘head *knew* about the Dog food machine, I can certainly look into it. As far as I know, it was inspired by the Happiness machine and a fair few heads came back from Cannes last year raving about the Ice Cream smile machine too…

    You’re right though, they do appear fairly similar and I can understand why you might think that this is where the ‘inspiration’ came from. But – hand on heart – the only other Foursquare vending machine we knew of [after the event] was the one I mentioned before from Showtime [which, to be honest – if you look at the case study – is probably even closer than the dog food one, in principle].

    Ah well, *shrug* – these things happen

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    We’ll have to see about that 😉

  • Anonymous

    I don’t have “permission” to view the last video link?

  • http://whatleydude.com James Whatley

    So here’s a nice piece of humble pie…

    I’m over in Beirut at the moment (attending Social Media Week here) so therefore out of the office and fairly out of reach.  However, one of my colleagues did just drop me an email to say:

    “Dude, we totally referenced the dog food machine when we first came up with the idea. I don’t think you were in that initial creative.”

    Colour me stupid, sir. You were right, I was wrong.

    Note to self: check *all* facts with *all* staff in future.