Coca-Cola and Microsoft, heating up coolers with digital signage

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Asia-Pacific beverage manufacturer Coca-Cola Amatil has added a new touch to heat up its in-store coolers in Australia, enabling them to interact with customers via mobile, gesture and touch.

Customers can use the coolers to listen to music and take photos of themselves using an integrated webcam built into each interactive cooler. The cooler also integrates augmented reality that alters their appearance on screens located on the cooler sides and in these photos with different clothes and hairstyles, and it also allows them to share their pictures on social media.

CCA, which provides soft drinks in six countries in the Asia-Pacific region, introduced the interactive coolers in order to stay ahead of the competition and appeal to young consumers. To keep costs down, it added digital signage technology to existing beverage coolers in stores and shopping malls.

Marketing company TKM9 developed the content management system used by the interactive coolers, im, using Windows Embedded, Kinect for Windows and the Microsoft Azure platform.

Early 2013 launch

TKM9 and CCA created 50 Coca-Cola Coolers and went live with the project in Australia in early 2013. The ongoing project is designed to boost sales by engaging customers in Australia, while optimizing the design for deployment across multiple global markets.

CCA also has the potential to use the data collected to refine product offers. a�?Through the geo-location software on mobile phones, im can track the route customers take to reach the cooler,a�? TKM9 CEO Mark Hodgens said in a statement. a�?Then it can use the information to create a�?heat mapsa�� that optimize cooler placement as well as the display of other store products.a�?

And all of that together is a recipe for increased engagement for the brand, according to CCA and TKM9.

a�?Interacting with the coolers using touch, gestures and their own mobile phones gives customers a unique experience that has been proven to increase sales and brand loyalty,a�? Hodgens said in the case study.

Which leads to CCA building sales along with customer relationships that extend past the point of the original purchase. a�?These interactive coolers … are a great way to represent your brand right at the point of purchase,a�? Port said. a�?If it engages people enough that they reach in and buy that Coke, it helps increase sales. But at the same time, ita��s terrific for us that wea��ve had a positive experience with the consumer.a�?