The Tech Behind Hot Wheel’s Tweet-Powered Vending Machine

Over 1,500 auto enthusiasts received a Hot Wheels toy car from a Twitter activated vending machine at the Canadian International Autoshow, which came to a close on Sunday. Made by TrojanOne, the vending machine was the same type of spinning coil machine that dispenses chocolate bars, but it was retrofitted with a Raspberry Pi – a […]


Over 1,500 auto enthusiasts received a Hot Wheels toy car from a Twitter activated vending machine at the Canadian International Autoshow, which came to a close on Sunday.

Made by TrojanOne, the vending machine was the same type of spinning coil machine that dispenses chocolate bars, but it was retrofitted with a Raspberry Pi – a very small computer – and connected to the internet.

The agency’s programmers then wrote a script allowing the machine to search for for the handle @HotWheelsCanada and #ChevyCIAS, a hashtag promoted by Hot Wheels’ co-marketing partner, Chevrolet Canada.

It also used geolocation technology to determine whether tweets were being sent from the auto show or another location. If the tweet was sent from in front of the machine and the user followed @HotWheelsCanada, it dispensed a 1:64-scale 1968 Camaro, a toy coveted by Hot Wheels collectors.

Over the course of the 10-day show, the company gave away over 1,500 of the toys through the vending machine. It also tripled its follower count, from 1,200 to almost 4,000 during the auto show.

Mark Stewart, director of digital services at Trojan One, said the program’s objective was largely to create positive brand sentiment both in person and on the social web.

“It was the engagement on site that was important,” he said. “It turned men into boys. They’d say, ‘Oh, I love this car sitting here and I get this Hot Wheels collectible. It had them dreaming about owning it one day.”

There was no social media buy associated with the initiative.

Brands Articles

Yellow Pages Expands Reach of New Dining App

Second lifestyle app integrates Bookenda and Dine.TO acquisitions

How VW gets beyond TV to connect with drivers

Can an industry built on TV advertising find relevance online?

Minions have overrun General Mills Canada

Expect to see Universal's little, yellow, adorable monsters on everything

Sour lemons are a sweet thing for Plan Canada

A new summer social challenge to raise money for 'Because I Am A Girl'

Porter Airlines fined over anti-spam compliance

$150,000 for allegedly leaving "unsubscribe" off commercial emails

Inside Facebook: Shifts in marketing and mobile strategy

Is Facebook even a social media company anymore?

The AOL Sessions – The viewability lightning rod

The value of viewability vs. attribution

Executive Roundtable: Canada’s changing consumer

Retail and brand leaders discuss how to succeed in an omnichannel marketplace

Sears at ‘make or break’ stage: analyst

Desjardins report says the 2016 holidays hold the key