Coke vending machine delivers surprise gifts

Annie Chang

Hundreds of Northwestern students crowded around what seemed like just another Coca-Cola vending machine on the ground floor of Norris University Center Monday.

Students who purchased a Coke for one dollar received a surprise gift from a person standing behind the vending machine. Prizes ranged from slices of pizza to NU t-shirts to a cupcake with a sparkler in it.

The “Coke Happiness Vending Machine,” a promotional event put on by Coca-Cola and NU Cuisine staff, ran all day, said Pam Yee, marketing manager for NU Cuisine.

“The whole point is just to generate some excitement, and that’s definitely happening,” Yee said.

Communication senior Trina McGee received a bouquet of purple flowers from the mystery man or woman. The vending machine added excitement to students’ days, she said.

“It’s making people step out of their comfort zone,” she said.

Students lined up to see with what they would walk away from the vending machine as well as to watch as others received small but smile-inducing gifts.

Communication senior Jeffrey Glass said the person behind the machine had a sense of humor, evident when he or she presented a student with a game of Twister and urged her to play a quick game in front of dozens of onlookers.

Glass, who received an NU hat from the Coke machine, said the idea was wonderful and creative despite its being an advertising stunt.

“It’s just a delightful surprise in our day, ” he said. “As it gets cold and windy outside, it’s nice to have a present now and then.”

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