Free Smartphones, Butterfingers With Nokia Gift Machine

Josh WolfordSocial Media

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What if your Foursquare check-ins and Twitter shares gave you more than a sense of accomplishment - what if they could get you free stuff?

That's the concept behind the "Nokia Gift Machine," a special vending machine that was created for Social Media Week in Glasgow by social firm 1000heads. Available until September 23rd, the machine dispenses free gifts for the simple act of social media sharing.

Here's how it works - All you have to do it check-in the the "Nokia Gift Machine @ SMW" on Foursquare, using the hashtag #NokiaConnects. Hopefully you already have your Foursquare and Twitter accounts synched up, because you must share your check-in on Twitter to get your prize. Once you do, out pops either a candy bar, Nokia accessories or even a brand new phone. Over the course of the week, there are 1,000 items to be dispensed via the machine.

When a user checks-in the machine registers that unique log-in and releases one gift. For the remainder of that day, the user may not check-in again until the following day (one check-in per user). Inside the machine are random gifts, ranging from Butterfinger chocolates to Nokia smartphones .

There's no word on any plans to develop a machine like this outside promotional purposes for this special event. But you can imagine the possibilities - rewarding people for doing social media advertising for your company. It definitely sounds like a workable concept for companies, albeit an expensive proposition to give away phones. Maybe they could set up some sort of check-in based lottery machine.

Anyways, here's a YouTube video of the thing in action -

The "Nokia Gift Machine" is reminiscent of an advertising campaign we told you about back in March that awarded Foursquare check-ins with free samples...of dog food. German pet food company GranataPet set up billboards that dispensed dog food samples when owners checked-in to the billboards on Foursquare.

And the idea of a "social vending machine" has been thrown around before as well. In April, Pepsi introduced a prototype for a "Social Vending System" that allowed people to gift sodas to friends by pre-purchasing them at the machine. The lucky recipient of the gift would get a text with a message and a code redeemable for their free beverage. The machine even allowed short videos to be recorded as messages.

What do you think about the concept of social vending? Should companies utilize Foursquare, Twitter and Facebook in this way to promote social media advertising? Let us know what you think.

Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf