ATM gives out free money

A guerrilla stunt by Coca-Cola gives people $131 in cash and asks them to share it with others.

By Kim Peterson Feb 27, 2013 2:26PM
Coca-Cola (KO) is getting quite a bit of attention for placing ATMs that give out free money in Spain and other countries.

The stunt has a twist: People get 100 euros, or about $131, at a time, but they have to agree to share it. If they agreed, the ATM dispensed an envelope with 100 euros in cash.

Would you share the money?

Coca-Cola couldn't track what everyone did, but the company followed some people -- and found some heartwarming stories. The company claimed that most people did share the money with others.

Spain is one of the countries hardest hit by the European economic downturn. The country's unemployment rate is at 26%, and among young people the rate is at 55%. Spain is filled with corrupt politicians and banks and inept bureaucrats, writes Gizmodo's Jesus Diaz. Image: bank ATM ( Image Source/Corbis/Corbis)

But some of the people getting the free money bought diapers and toys for children, theater tickets for an elderly couple, and food to share, Diaz writes. "It's inspiring to see that, even in the face of adversity, people can be so good," he adds.

The ATM had Coke's signature colors -- a white twist of paint on a bright red background -- but other than that the company did not identify itself, writes The Financial Brand website. The stunt was part of the company's "Share Happiness" campaign, and Coca-Cola called the machine "The ATM of Happiness."

More on moneyNOW



20Comments
Feb 27, 2013 4:54PM
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I suggest you try this , as I did , if you have cash you want to help somebody else with. Go into a supermarket and find a poorly dressed woman with two children that is checking the price of every "sale"  item and purchases only the least expensive item she can find.  (A sure sign that she isn't buying with food stamps)  Next find the store manager and get him to  insure that the woman gets your gift, at the check out register ,  anomalously as you stand by and observe. When I tried it  the lady set her purchase aside and went back to buy additional food.
Feb 27, 2013 5:28PM
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absolutely    it didn't cost me anything and i'm generous
Feb 27, 2013 8:05PM
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I would donate it all to... Feed Our Vets


 http://www.feedourvets.org/
Feb 27, 2013 3:24PM
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Sure, I'd take my friends out for a meal!
Feb 27, 2013 6:23PM
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Sure I would...now where are these machines?
Feb 28, 2013 11:43AM
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I've found lately that it's fun to go through a fast food drive through and tell the cashier you'd like to pay for the meal of the person behind you.  It's cool and it always makes me feel better.  I'm just hoping one of these times that I don't offer to pay for someone who's picking up a group order for a whole office-full of people or something!  Ha! 
Feb 27, 2013 5:57PM
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Nothing new about this- there is a place in the world that gives out free medical care, free housing, free cash, free computers and free cell phones.  All you have to do is say your ancestors were mistreated.
Feb 27, 2013 7:15PM
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1st of all, there is no such thing as "Free Money" -it came from someone. If I was a Coca-Cola shareholder I would have suggested free cokes, not an almost anonymous machine dispensing cash. Free cokes would be chalked up as a nice gesture with an advertising twist.
Feb 27, 2013 8:20PM
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A nice gesture but I believe the shareholders who invested in this company may have another view.  Coca Cola should remember - they are a business OWNED by stakeholders and their first priority should ALWAYS be to maximize the return to their shareholders; then let the shareholders decide if they want to give this 'special distribution' to charity - now that would be an interesting experiment!
Feb 27, 2013 4:25PM
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So, let me get this straight.  Put in your ATM card, enter your pin number, then get asked if you would share 100 euros with others if it were given to you.  Sounds nice, but now, who has your ATM card info and pin number?

 

Uh oh!  Now I know where the money is coming from.  Sucka!

Feb 27, 2013 3:17PM
Feb 27, 2013 5:01PM
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Give me some free money then I'll share some with the needies.
Feb 27, 2013 3:56PM
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Yeah right. Share it with my bills!
Feb 27, 2013 3:26PM
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yeah would share with the gas pump attendant for a fill up, grocery store for groceries and a bartender at the local pub for a beer....
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