Coke and Leo Burnett bring peace to the world through vending machines

Coke and Leo Burnett have launched a new initiative called ‘Small World Machines’ which provides a live communications portal through a Coca-Cola vending machine for Indians and Pakistanis to interact with and engage across country borders.

The ‘Small World Machines’ experience was created to provoke happiness in the world through human connections between the two warring countries.

The vending machines were placed in two different locations back in March, one in India and another in Pakistan. People were encouraged to put their differences aside and complete a friendly task together – wave, touch hands, draw a peace sign or do a dance – in order to receive a Coke.

The idea was dreamt up by Leo Burnett, Sydney and brought to life by the combined efforts of Leo Burnett Chicago and Coke.

The ability to virtually unite people via the live portal machines are the first of its kind. to make this possible Coke and Leo Burnett created 3D touchscreen technology to project a streaming live video feed onto the vending machine screen while simultaneously filming through the machine to capture a live emotional exchange.

This technology resembled the act of looking into a full-length webcam, face-to-face with another person. At the same time, people were encouraged to interact with touchscreen animation including peace signs and smiley faces drawings that could be traced together with hand-to-hand connection. Once the shared tasks were completed, a celebration screen emerged which triggered the vending machine to dispense a free Coke for each person.

One Pakistani remarked, “It’s great to connect with the average Indian who probably knows nothing about the average Pakistani.”

A man of Indian descent says of the machines, “It’s something to really bring the countries together,” and “It’s fantastic that you’re allowing people to see the other side as well, to not let it be a mystery anymore.”

More than 10,000 cans of Coke were estimated to be given away during the experience.

Chief creative officer, Leo Burnett Sydney, Andy DiLallo, says being on the ground in India during the Small World Machines experience has been the highlight of his career so far.

“To be able to take two countries that have been divided and to unite them through the world’s most iconic brand, and see the purity of the experience was amazing,” he says.

“After spending a year on this project with all the challenges we encountered, when Small World Machines started it was massive relief for me. And then joy, and then just awe to see the people connecting. Coca-Cola’s message has always been one of happiness. I see this activation as a small step in the right direction. Hopefully it works as a symbol of how people can overcome differences and come together with a simple act of joy.”

“Small World Machines is a real-world example of the power of creativity,” he adds.