Pepsi already has a recycling kiosk called the Dream Machine, which rewards people for recycling wit points that they can turn around and use to get discounts on entertainment, dining and travel. Now the company has developed a soda machine that allows beverage buyers to "friend" others with a gift of a Pepsi items. Notification of the gift is send to a person's mobile phone along with a personalized text message. When the recipient redeems the gift notice at any Social Vending System machine, he or she can reply with a thank you or pay it forward by gifting a drink to someone else.
Pepsi is no stranger to social networking. Last year during the Superbowl, they opted for a social media campaign on Facebook rather than buying commercial ad space during the game. In this blog from the SF Chronicle, Benny Evangelista rightly points out that it's not too far-fetched to image Facebook adding a "like" or "share" button to each machine, but that the idea overall could "fizz out unless there's a large installed base of these machines everywhere."