Another Fish in the Barrel

greenhouse It begins to trigger one’s pity, despite the topic. There really is an endless supply of pathetically deranged little auto-bots personing the marketing trade, offering up the next little link in the endless chain of Orwellian “insights.”

This gent is one Jeff Greenfield, not of any known relation to the long-running hateful sycophantic journalist and pseudo-intellectual of the same name.

While that Mr. Greenfield has switched from pimping wars and such to polishing the brass of the golden-parachuted scions of Fred Taylor, our Mr. Greenfield has quite a similar passion — space-age Coke machines!
Ad Age reports the basic story:

Coca-Cola Freestyle has been generating buzz, sales boosts and foot traffic since tests for the futuristic machine were first launched three years ago. Now, as the next-generation soda fountain reaches a critical mass — it will be in 80 markets by year’s end — execs are readying Freestyle’s first marketing campaign.

The fountain serves up 125 different flavors of soft drinks, flavored waters, sports drinks and lemonades and sends usage data, such as what flavors are most popular at what times of the day, to Coca-Cola HQ. Already the beverage giant is analyzing data pouring in from more than 1,500 machines in restaurants including Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Mac and Five Guys.

Our Jeff, in a comment on the Ad Age story, finds this machine to be a wonder in the making, a veritable harbinger of the impending arrival of paradise:

This is a beautiful piece of innovation, because it’s a 3-way win. The end consumer wins by getting expanded choices [ed: among sugar-water flavors]. The food-service customer wins by being able to offer the consumer that benefit, and Coca-Cola wins by getting massive amounts of real-time data without adding the burden of documentation or reporting to either of the other parties.

It’s interesting to think about where this type of real-world, instantly personalized product experience could pop up next. Candy bars? Inventory-less bookstores? Fashion?

I also wouldn’t be surprised to see data from these machines lead to new products hitting store shelves. Remember the runaway success of the “limited time only” Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper? The next flavor combination could be spawned from Freestyle data.

If the piggy-backing effort weren’t so pathetic — Mr. Greenfield reports himself as the “CEO, CMO, COO, [and] CFO” of his own internet marketing agency — I’d be ROFLMFAO.

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