“Tweet and Be Rewarded!” from University of Michigan

Love prizes? Who doesn’t? What if winning amazing gifts from a wide variety of Ann Arbor merchants—and the University of Michigan—was just a tweet away? Starting Thursday, September 4th we’re kicking off a month of ‘Vending Maize and Blue,’ just for you!

UMSocial has partnered with the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau to bring you gift cards and swag from numerous businesses and university affiliates, including: Zingerman’s, M Den, The Ark, University Musical Society, Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, Argo/Gallup Canoe Livery, Slurping Turtle, The Ravens Club, Frita Batidos, Ashley’s, U-M Recreational Sports, U-M Dining, U-M Housing, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, U-M Rackham Graduate School, and the University of Michigan Health System.

The Vending Maize and Blue campaign merges digital technology with physical space, producing an interactive experience that enhances community engagement online and “in real life.” Developed by Innovative Vending Solutions, the technology is unprecedented in higher education and was designed to capture the University of Michigan aesthetic. Through collaboration with the university and the greater Ann Arbor community, this innovative initiative provides a new way to encourage social media growth and engagement for everyone involved. Additionally, by strategically timing the vending machine’s presence on campus, the campaign serves as an exciting “welcome home” present to our students and to friends, fans, and family joining us for events like our first home football game.
Curious about how it works? The remarkable vending machine is essentially programmed to accept tweets as currency. For example, users might be asked to tweet a picture and a particular hashtag. Once they’ve completed the request, the vending machine dispenses a prize. The quick and easy process is initiated with a simple touch of the vending machine’s interactive screen. From there, the program walks you though a few simple steps, and voila—you depart the proud new owner of a variety of cool items.

The vending machine will be on campus at various locations throughout the month of September. Prizes and locations will change in order to tie in directly with what’s happening on campus. For example, during move-in, the vending machine will be on the Hill, and the prizes will include things that students need for dorm living.

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Last but not least, we hope you’ll share the joy of experiencing Vending Maize and Blue with us. Tweet us your photos or videos, tell your friends, and thank a participating partner.