Coca-Cola’s Red Cross Vending Machine In Japan


Coca-Cola and the Japanese Red Cross have rolled out a vending machine that lets users donate money directly to the vending machine.


The machines stock the usual array of soft drinks, but they also offer the simple ‘charity button’, clearly branded with the red cross logo. When someone donates the machine emits a loud ‘thank you very much for your donation.’


Users are given the option of donating either ¥10 or ¥100, and as with a normal purchase the buttons light up when the money is inserted but instead of receiving a beverage when pressed, the machine emits a loud “Thank you very much for the donation”.


The units themselves are branded with the iconic red cross and have some images of the work the Japan Red Cross are currently doing around the world and in Tohoku as part of ongoing relief efforts.


Currently 100% of the money is going to Japan’s earthquake relief fund, but the machines will remain indefinitely and the money will go to all future Red Cross efforts.


Making use of the fact that Japan has the highest number of vending machines per capita in the world, with about one machine for every twenty- three people, the simple introduction of the “charity button” is aimed at making it easier for users to donate towards the rebuilding of areas hardest hit by the recent disasters in Japan.




A simple idea, one that shows an understanding of a country’s culture and uses a brand’s existing knowledge and ability to provide a useful and effective CSR platform. It is often presumed that young people tend not to donate to charity, but statistics from the recent Haiti disaster fund text campaign show that using youth-oriented technologies and platforms can reverse this presumption.







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