Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coke Freestyle or (ZOMG This is so Awesome!!!)

     The Noodle's & Company in Davenport, IA has added the new Coke Freestyle machine to their restaurant of awesome.  (I have heard that Wendy's in Rock Island has also acquired this machine but who actually eats at Wendy's?)Not only am I able to choose from different types of noodles, but from hundreds of drink options as well.  This is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Actually, sliced bread is still pretty awesome.

What is this Coke Freestyle you speak of?

    I'm glad you asked subheading.  In 2009 Coke introduced Coke Freestyle.  A unique way to
dispense it's product offering over one hundred unique choices and combinations.  Simply walk up to the fountain and you are greeted
by a screen like this.

You just select a category and choose the desired flavor within that category.

    This is clearly the Ferrari of the Coke machines.  I'm not just saying that because it's fancy, it was designed by Pininfarina, an Italian engineering and design company which have designed things like this:
Kit's metro sexual Cousin. 
  I know what you're thinking and yes ladies I am single.  I know what else you're thinking.  This is just some fad to create hype and sell Coke products.  Yes.  That is true.  To be honest, that's what marketing is.  Trying new things and watching customers scream "Wow, this is awesome.  Take my money!"  If it didn't work, just try something else.  Remember clear Pepsi?  No?  Of course not.  After it failed Pepsi immediately moved onto something else.  Just in case you think I'm making clear Pepsi up here is a quick refresher. 
Marketing is like evolution.  If it works it will survive with the plan of reproducing.  If it doesn't, it will end up at the bottom of a tar pit or on youtube which is basically the same thing.   Buying is like voting.  

What do you think of this coke freestyle sorcery?

     Another excellent question Mr. Subheading.  I absolutely love this machine.  It's all about choice.  However, it could use some improvements in my opinion.  That is what this blog is about anyway.

  • For many people who just want to fill their cup and sit down, a couple extra steps are now required.  You must first hit the coke button and then select the coke you want such as coke.  This may not be that bad except:
  • Sometimes hitting the button on the screen doesn't work. You must poke it a few times before it registers.  This can be somewhat annoying.
  • New users standing in front of you exclaiming how awesome this machine is and hit several buttons and gleefully yell "I don't know what to try yet!"  (the best way to deal with this is to stab them with your chopsticks.
  • I don't want to say old people, more accurate is "technology deficient" individuals who just happen to be old.  They don't understand why the machine has changed to this new monstrosity. 
That's a good question.  Why would a restaurant choose to put something in that would challenge older folks?
I'll excuse the interruption from Mr. Subheading because that is a good question.  My answer is this, the machine isn't challenging at all.  It may just seem daunting at first  but that's it.  Secondly, I feel it's about moving forward.  Trying things that work and don't work.  It's also a good way to "vote".  Let's say there is a large amount of Orange Coke being ordered,(yes there is orange coke and yes it is delicious) and Coke sees this and says to itself "Hmm, let's release orange coke to the masses.  It's clearly what they want."  There you go. It's a way of marketing that doesn't seem to invasive.  Nobody with a clipboard asking you to choose between drink A or B and then telling you that you weren't supposed to drink them they were in fact laundry detergents but you grabbed them too quickly before she could explain what the test was about.

Final Thoughts?

I think with some minor improvements such as a faster screen response or have just quick buttons for those less adventurous individuals who just want to fill their cup with traditional Coke products.  Maybe making it voice activated.  That way this will be a possibility:  

Earl Grey Tea is the Choice of the Next Generation

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