Our contribution to Google's Project Re:brief was one of Fake Love's first real creative technology projects in 2011. The project itself had two components - a specialized banner ad on the Youtube homepage, and 4 custom modified vending machines with interactive touchscreens placed in Cape Town, Buenos Aires, New York City, and Mountain View.
People who interacted with the banner ad were prompted to select one of the 4 global locations, and then they were instructed to record a custom video or text message that would be sent to a machine that would dispense a free coke. Once they pressed send, the selected machine would light up and begin playing the classic jingle from the famous 1971 "Hilltop" Coca-cola ad. The vending machines were installed in public places like malls, so anyone walking by would be gently encouraged to touch the screen and trigger the process. Once touched, the recorded video or text message would be displayed to the user, and then a can of coke would fall out of the machine like magic. The rewarded user could then choose to record a video or text message there on the spot and send it back to the original sender who would receive it in an email.
Sounds like a cool idea, right? People loved it.
At Fake Love, I was tasked with the challenge of figuring out how to make a normal vending machine dispense a can of Coke when it received a message from the internet. I also had to figure out the ideal touchscreen/computer/camera/microphone/speaker to awkwardly fit into a huge metal refrigerator with a lot of other pieces and parts in it, and then go on site at each global location to set up the machine and train a local technician. Technical breakdown is below!
In 2011, this was an early project for Fake Love and many creative coding tools were still a bit rough around the edges. I was also at the beginning of my career as a creative technologist, so a lot of this involved learning many lessions as I went.
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