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

H&R Block focuses on expertise in new campaign

The brand replaces its long-running "Tax Pain" platform with new creative

The Hot Plate rebrands as THP

Toronto shop looks to expand beyond its origins as a food-marketing agency

Tennis Canada serves up a new brand and national campaign

Multi-media campaign from Revolution urges Canadians to "Live the Moment"

Loblaw eyes Target locations as it more than doubles Q4 profit

Grocery and pharmacy chain earns $247 million for the 13-week period ending Jan. 3

New Smarties box encourages consumer to count calories

New packaging allows consumers to parcel out the candies into healthier portions

Buick makes a comeback as it courts younger customers

"That's not a Buick" tagline and campaign is changing the way people view the brand

Taco Bell Canada keeps rewarding the social savvy

Campaign raises awareness of the Doritos Cheesy Gordita Crunch arrival in Canada

Millennial employees aren’t really that different

Despite the stereotype, this cohort wants what their parents wanted

What effect did Canada have on Target’s bottom line?

A 4Q loss on Canada pullout, but U.S. shows sales gain