Coke’s Arcade Machine Accepts Plastic Bottles Instead of Quarters [Video]

Coca-Cola launched a new campaign, demonstrating its unlimited creativity once again.

Coca-Cola tries to attract attention of an environmentally minded publicity stunt by launching an arcade game that takes bottles instead of coins.

The city of Dhaka in Bangladesh is home for more than 15 million people. This place, as one may think, is not known for a high awareness of recycling.

To put a little dent in that, the famous beverage producer created a classic arcade game machine that won’t take coins, only empty plastic bottles. The slot perfectly fits the exact size specifications of a plastic Coke bottle.

The unusual machine, called the “Happiness Arcade,” was placed around the city in six different locations over six days.

“It doesn’t exactly offer the most modern video game experience ever created. The game is pretty much like Pong, except it uses little Coke bottles in place of the usual moving paddles,” writes Cnet.

Grey Dhaka, the advertising agency to which the idea of this campaign belongs to, admits that it’s hard to tell how much of an impact the machine might have, writing, “Like so much experiential sustainability marketing, this campaign will be difficult to value in real ROR (return on recycling!) terms. Ultimately, this campaign is all about awareness raising (agitpop you might call it).”

For Coca-Cola, a brand that commands global attention and needs to be on the front lines both of acting sustainably and communicating sustainability, Happiness Arcade is a decent start,” the agency added.

According to the company, Coca-Cola had preiously launhed a simialr mahine that handed over bottles with the beverage when it was hugged. When it was launched in the US four years ago it seemed a bit of a one-joke gimmick.

“The Happiness Machine concept has been repackaged countless times by Coke to deliver different “magic” experiences for fans all around the world. Indeed, the larger “Happiness” project, a global campaign to equate the fizzy drink with feeling good and general emotional well-being, has been quite prescient,” explains Sustainly.

In recent years “Happiness” (or the pursuit of it at least) has emerged an important cultural, political and philosophical theme. Happiness Economics is being advocated by a growing number of politicians and academics; in 2010 UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, advocated a “Happiness Index” as a measure of socio-economic well-being while Colombia University now publishes the World Happiness Index.”

As it was discovered, the report on the unusual friendly experiment is that thousands of bottles were collected via the game within six days in Bangladesh while the machine was in operation.

Later Coca-Cola producer plans to turn this material into pellets through a recycling process that makes them reusable for other plastic products.

The recycling arcade machine concept may be rolled out in other parts of the world as part of a larger campaign. It would be nice if the game became a little more sophisticated, perhaps involving a version of Duck Hunt where you have to take out flying Pepsi bottles.

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