Monday, June 28, 2010

Serious Games Draw Passersby Into A Branded World

Serious Gaming with a  smile-activated vending machine

Sapient Nitro
Experience the ice cream van for the digital age; share your smile and choose a delicious Wall’s ice cream – for free!

Via: Mashable - Augmented Reality Ice Cream Machine Trades Smiles for Desserts

Customer experience company Sapient Nitro and ice cream makers Unilever have teamed up to train us all to smile for our just desserts — they’ve developed what they’re calling the world’s first smile-activated vending machine.

Sapient Nitro tested out the machine at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival last week. The machine uses augmented reality to draw passersby into a branded world — i.e. when one looks at the screen at the front of the machine, one’s face is outfitted with mustaches and other kinds of tomfoolery.

After it prompts you to smile, the dessert-vending device measures the wideness of your grin using facial recognition technology, snaps a pic, and, with your permission, uploads that snap to Facebook.  Next, you choose the free treat of your choice via the touchscreen at the front of the machine and collect your sweet reward.

The social media integration is what makes this campaign interesting. Although participants have yet to tag themselves in the photos featured in the gallery, we can imagine folks adding these snaps to their Facebook galleries, thus spreading word of the vending machine virally around the web.

According to Sapient Nitro, these machines will roll out to high-traffic locations like shopping malls across the globe over the next 18 months, and will accept cash as well as grins for the sugary products. Will you smile for your sundae?