Agency’s Crazy Gumball Chute Activated by Each New Twitter Follow

'Sweet Tweet' says an elaborate thank-you

Headshot of Tim Nudd

Here's one of the most intricate "Thank you for following us on Twitter" messages you're ever likely to see. Uniform, a British brand communications agency, has rigged up a crazy gumball machine that gets activated whenever anyone follows them on Twitter—sending a gumball careening down a long and winding chute, coming to rest in the agency's studio, where workers presumably fight over it (or maybe not). In the meantime, the agency @replies you with a link to a video of the machine in action (though not, sadly, featuring footage of your particular gumball). The whole thing is called Sweet Tweet. "We wanted to create a physical app that connected our studio to our Twitter followers," Uniform’s Pete Thomas tells Co.Design, "raising awareness and alerting us all to each new follower." It seems pleasantly frivolous, although Co.Design rightly points out the drawbacks. For example: The agency people are the ones being rewarded, at least until they get sick of gumballs, and the @replies are sort of spammy. That said, Uniform is involved in developing real-world Internet-enabled experiences, so this at least exposes each follower to the agency's area of expertise. What do you think? How could this app be improved?

@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.