Coca-Cola Expands Futuristic Freestyle Machines


For three years, Coca-Cola Freestyle fountains have been quietly doing their work for the soda giant. Soon it will be Freestyle’s time in the spotlight.

Freestyle, for those not keeping score at home, can produce up to 125 different beverages (soft drinks, flavored waters, sports drinks, you name it) while also digitally shipping info on consumer behavior back to Coke headquarters for later analysis, according to AdAge.

There are currently more than 1,500 machines nationwide in such places as Wendy’s, Burger King, and Five Guys, and they will appear in more than 80 U.S. markets by year’s end as the interactive machine goes national.[more]

That boost in markets means that Freestyle may be ready for its own ad campaign, AdAge reports. The company “working with Ogilvy & Mather to develop creative concepts for a 2012 marketing campaign,” AdAge reports.

Radio, outdoor, and digital marketing will be the initial focus, said Sydney Taylor, group director of Coca-Cola Freestyle consumer marketing, AdAge notes: “We needed to be at a certain threshold to make [a marketing campaign] pay off for us, so that once we advertise Freestyle, consumers can find it at most places,” she said.

Firehouse Subs is planning to put the Fountain in its 437 locations by year’s end because its initial testing has gone so well, according to a press release.

“Earlier this year, the chain opted to install Freestyle in 25 Jacksonville, Fla., locations, turn on marketing support — in the form of billboards, 60-second radio spots, social media and events — and watch what happened,” according to AdAge. There was a “double-digit increase in traffic and overall sales, as well as an increase in people buying a drink and sandwich, rather than just a sandwich,” among other statistical increases.

The Fountain of Youth may still be undiscovered, but for the time being, Coke may have discovered a new Fountain of Cash.

Check out a first-time customer demo below (at one of its latest locations, a Five Guys Burgers location in Avon, Connecticut), and let us know if you’ve had a chance to check out Coke’s Freestyle machines. (More info on Twitter, Facebook and its website.)