Creative vending machines market & sometimes sell

July 12, 2012 in The Work

At OBI Creative, with our Be Brave philosophy, we’re always on the lookout for innovative advertising. Marketing that pushes the boundaries comes from unusual places or has an unexpected impact. That’s what led us to Design Taxi and it’s coverage of a creative vending machine offering free snacks in Australia.

The catch was that the snack recipient had to perform tasks, some as quick and simple as hitting a button 50 times, some as time-consuming and exhausting as hitting a button 5,000 times. Then there were those selected by the machine to bow down to it, jump on one leg, perform the robot or otherwise dance to get their treat. From the video below you can see that the participants loved it, and enthusiastic crowds gathered ’round to watch them toil. There’s almost a carnival atmosphere that surrounds the vending machine and you can bet the word-of-mouth spread like wildfire.

Redbox vending machines revolutionized the DVD rental model. In Japan you can find just about anything in vending machines: eggs, umbrellas, neckties, tennis shoes, flowers and vegetables. We were wondering what other types of  creative vending machines were out there, and which were being used for marketing purposes.

Fantastic Delites: The vending machine that sparked our curiosity. This one makes you work for the freebie.

BOS Ice Tea: Here’s a very social vending machine that trades tweets for free BOS Ice Tea. #BOSTWEET4T

Workforce Victoria (Body O Matic): This body part vending machine probably made workers in Australia take a sobering look at workplace safety. If it had been around at the time, it also would have made it easier for Walter to get Lebowski a toe by 3 O’Clock.

The Bike Vending Machine: Although they look a bit uncomfortable these bikes can be rented from this “vending machine” and dropped off at other locations.

Salta Cerveza: Argentina home of Salta Cerveza toured its vending machines to appeal to diehard rugby fans in Salta, New Zealand. In order to get the beer out you’ve got to slam into the machine. Not only will this give you the brew you’ve paid for, it will also rate your hit. Apparently, beer sales rose by 25 percent in bars where the machine was placed.

We’re not sure what the statistics are Down Under, but falling vending machines cause a few fatalities each year here in the U.S., which has a ratio of 100 people for each vending machine. We can only imagine what the statistics are in Japan with a ratio of 23 people for each vending machine, and with them prowling the streets looking for trouble.

Coca Cola (Hug Me): Taking a completely different  (and probably safer) approach, Coca-Cola has placed its “Hug Me” vending machines in Singapore to spread happiness by exchanging hugs for free beverages.

Gun Control Alliance (South Africa) Gun Vending Machine: In order to show how easy it is to get a gun in South Africa the Gun Contraol Alliance set up these vending machines.

Rollasole Ballet Flats: Rollasole vending machines have been around U.K. nightclubs for a few years, but will soon be coming to the U.S. Rollasoles cater perfectly to women  not looking forward to the walk home in heels. The shoes roll up to fit in purses and are also recyclable.

We’ll leave you with a 7UP commercial from the 90s that shows exactly how not to use vending machines for marketing.

What creative vending machines have you seen around? Comment to let us know.

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