Viral marketing is, to put it kindly, full of potential land mines. For every successful viral marketing campaign put on by some corporation, there are several others that either go completely unnoticed or result in serious backlash. Nobody wants to feel like they’re being manipulated, which is why a good viral marketing campaign will make it clear that that’s what it is — marketing. The Dream Machine, built by FOODBEAST and Nissin, is a great example of that, and it was made with a Raspberry Pi.
The goal is, obviously, to generate buzz marketing, but at least it’s doing that in a fun way. Consumers can go to one of two retrofitted vending machines, one in Torrance, California and one in Las Vegas, Nevada. When they get there, they push a button and are granted with a unique hashtag. They can then post a selfie with that hashtag to social media, and they’ll be gifted with a cup of noodles or other prizes, like video games, gift cards, or ramen-based swag.
The Dream Machine was built from a vintage vending machine from the ’70s, and upgraded with a Raspberry Pi to make all of that fancy social media tagging work properly. The Raspberry Pi has an LCD screen mounted on the outside of the machine to show consumers what it’s doing, and a simple, big, yellow button to start the hashtagging process. Sure, consumers are posting selfies for corporate gain, but they’re also getting some pretty cool gifts out of the deal.