Coca Cola’s interactive vending machine offers up peaceful PR

Great PR

Coca Cola uses an interactive vending machine to bring together India and Pakistan

Trace a peace sign, a smiley face or a heart. Join hands with someone living thousands of kilometres away and then release a can of Coca Cola. The beverages giant, in March, used an interactive vending machine called’ The  Small World Machines’ to connect people living in Lahore and New Delhi. This is part of Coca Cola’s larger effort to be associated with moments of happiness. The vending machines, which use 3D technologies to create a feeling of real connection, have been built by The SuperGroup, a digital agency in Atlanta.

The campaign which distributed 10,000 Coke cans has been implemented by Leo Burnett Chicago and Sydney.

Take a look at the video:

Coca Cola has tried to connect people from two countries with a shared history, but difficult relationship triggered by Pakistan’s cross border terrorism activities in India. Given the nature of the sensitive linkages between India and Pakistan, Coca Cola has been smart enough not to go into a PR overdrive.

This is a story we first talked about in the March edition of PRmoment India .

Thanks to @InaBansal for alerting us to the video of the interactions which was released May 19th. 

Vodafone Fancam tags IPL fans to drive PR

Even as the spot fixing controversy has driven IPL 2013 into the front page for the wrong reasons, the sponsors continue to come up with interesting new ideas to keep the brand front and centre for IPL fans. Vodafone India, which has ten million fans on Facebook, has now come out with the Vodafone Fancam Photo.

With this, cricket fans who take the trouble to watch the match live at the cricket grounds can log on to an interactive view of the stadium. Here they can tag themselves in the crowd, tag their friends and share the tagged pictures on their Facebook and Twitter.

Fans can also add missing family and friends via the ‘Wish you were here’ tab and use their own pictures to send a postcard.

Timed to start during the final run of the IPL, this app proves that Pepsi IPL 2013 has truly been social media heavy!

Buy-and-sell site launches advert to capitalise on the spot-fixing scandal, known for its quirky ads, was very quick off the block to launch this ad using humour to connect spot fixing and bid and buy of ordinary items. The message, don’t sell your honour, sell old laptops and phones instead on Quikr. Funny and smart.

Bad PR

S Sreesanth and Phaneesh Murthy create PR challenge for their respective brands

The best of preventive action cannot always protect organisations from the backlash when individuals crash and burn spectacularly. Especially if these individuals are well-known faces. This is fast turning into a week of individual behaviour generating a PR management challenge for large brands. First, Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan were arrested for spot fixing. With the summoning of Gurunath Meiyappan, CEO of Chennai Super Kings, to Mumbai for questioning and with Delhi police saying that more players are under the scanner, along with allegations of terrorist links, the entire episode has turned the spotlight back onto whether the IPL format is good for cricket or not.

While that debate still rages on in both traditional media and on Twitter, Tuesday morning also brought news about the sacking of iGate CEO and President Phaneesh Murthy, for failing to disclose a relationship with a subordinate. There is also a sexual harassment claim filed against Murthy, but iGate did not find any violation of their sexual harassment policy. India watchers need no introduction to the fact that Murthy has had a chequered past and this is the second time that he has been involved in sexual harassment case. In 2002, he faced a sexual harassment lawsuit at Infosys, which settled the lawsuit out of court for $3 million.

Now questions are being asked, why did iGate choose to hire a CEO with a tainted past and what kind of supervision happened for him?

This week’s firing has brought both Murthy and iGate to the front page of newspapers and to the top ten trends list:

Have you seen any great or even bad PR?

Contact Paarul Chand by emailing or tweet @PaarulC or @PRmomentIndia throughout the week and we’ll happily credit you for your trouble.