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I spotted this article over at today and thought I’d share it. What a great example of how Coca-Cola can tap into crowdsourcing in real time to understand how fans and customers think drinks.  And for customers who live in a larger town, there is a good chance they can take their ideas and quickly turn them around into a reality via a vending machine that dispenses their own unique concoction. I wonder how an application like this can help Facebook fans of other companies create their favorite restaurant meal, custom footwear or even the latest automobile design?

Coca-Cola on Wednesday rolled out a Facebook app that lets you mix your own Coke drink. The app is no online-only experiment, though: Real Coke vending machines that do the same thing are rolling out across the country.

The Coca-Cola Freestyle app, created by digital marketing agency 360i, lets you mix a drink using 125 Coke beverages, including Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta and Powerade. After choosing each, you hold down a “push” button to fill a cup of your choosing. When you fill your cup, you can name it. There’s also a game designed for the iPhone and Android formats.

The Facebook Page also directs you to Freestyle vending machines in your area and lets you ask for one in your town. There are now about 1,500 such machines in restaurants like Wendy’s, Burger King and Five Guys, but Coke plans to make more noise about Freestyle next year. The company is working with ad agency Ogilvy & Mather on a 2012 ad campaign for Freestyle, according to Advertising Age. Coke would like the apps to eventually generate a 2-D barcode, which could be scanned at one of the machines to create a blend, according to Ad Age.

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