It’s a cold, sunny Friday Morning in the Sydney CBD and what better way to spend our morning than to visit the Cadbury Joy Generator – a Facebook-powered chocolate vending machine. The machine uses your Facebook likes and interests to calculate your best match, whether it be Original, Fruit & Nut, Roasted Almond or Snack – the Joy Generator has 12 of the best flavours available.
While it is an interesting idea, the machine was plagued with problems.
From the looks of things, the Joy Generator – with its two screens at the front – was powered by a Windows 7 machine running a Chrome Web App. Upon walking up to the machine, you were handed a very small bluetooth keyboard and asked to login to your Facebook account (in front of the crowd). The app would then analyse your likes and interests, post on your wall, pick a flavour based on its ‘analysis’ and then dispense the chocolate.
Waiting 30 minutes in line for the machine, it stopped working – twice – requiring it to be restarted and taking at least ten minutes to boot up and start everything again. The chocolate dispenser mechanism also broke, meaning staff had to hand out chocolate once the machine decided what flavour you will get.
A Cadbury representative told TechGeek that this social media exercise was to get people to try different Cadbury flavours that were available. While Milk Chocolate and Fruit & Nut are the most popular in store, Cadbury wanted to open up the eyes of others to get them to try the more exciting flavours like Crunchie, Snack, and Peppermint.
So while the technology didn’t work that well, Cadbury probably achieved what they wanted in the end – get people to be aware of the other flavours available. And hey, we got free chocolate in the end.
So yes Chris, day well spent.