An ATM giving out free money sounds too good to be true — or possibly even illegal. But those who used this red-and-white ATM unobtrusively stationed in various locations around Spain discovered it was the real deal — although there’s a catch.
The machine, whose screen displays a message reading “Withdraw 100€ [about $130] free of charge without a bank card,” gave participants the chance to claim free cash — as long as they promised to share it. The ATM then provides the user with a few ideas on how to share — buying diapers for a pregnant woman, donating a sack of balls to a local playing field, etc. — and an envelope pops out of the machine with crisp euro notes packed neatly inside. “In the same era as ‘bad banks’,” the ad tells viewers, “there is born an ATM of happiness.”
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There’s another catch, of course. The “Cajero de la Felicidad” — literally, “ATM of Happiness” — is a marketing stunt created by McCann Spain for Coca-Cola, reports media trade publication DigiDay. It’s one of a series of YouTube videos produced for the soft drink giant’s “Open Happiness” campaign — which also gave rise to this sweet ad, titled “Cameras,” that aired during the Super Bowl.
But the most interesting thing about the video is what people actually did with the cash, as shown in clips of videos they sent in to Coca-Cola. Spain is reeling from continued economic stagnation and an unemployment rate of 26%, according to MSN Money. So seeing the genuine smiles light up the faces of givers and receivers alike — sharing a meal with strangers, buying a tricycle for a neighborhood kid, giving an old couple theater tickets — is enough to bring tears to your eyes. (As it did the woman at the very end who is serenaded by a surprise flamenco band.) As Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz wrote, “This video will restore your faith in humanity.”
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