9th December 2015 by Jason Vincent
Viral and Experiential Marketing Ideas with Vending Machines
Vending machines are becoming a popular means through which to uniquely engage consumers from a marketing perspective – be it by using a vending machine at a product launch, or creative vending concepts at trade shows. The options are endless really. Creating a cool vending concept is also something that has been proven not to get old – everyone likes a little excitement and novelty when they’re not expecting it. Here are 6 great marketing ideas with vending machines!
For those of you that may be wondering what exactly ‘experiential marketing’ is, a great site (Creative Guerrilla Marketing) defines it as:
Experiential marketing is a form of advertising that focuses primarily on helping consumers experience a brand.
1. Tweet a vending machine for free samples
From the popcorn twitter activated vending machine that everyone fell in love with at CES a few years ago, to a flipflop vending machine – we’ve seen it all. We’ve personally created twitter sample vending machines dispensing everything from energy drinks to novelty items – let your imagination roam free. Where things get really exciting is what you do with the tweets, and truly engage consumers (rather than just dispensing free samples). How about an interactive video wall where users can rate their favourite tweet? Or a competition where consumers have to answer a pertinent question about your brand?
2. A vending machine that is free depending on the weather
Kellogg’s recently created a vending machine that could solve vitamin D deficiency for all of us. The premise is simple: if the weather is bad (i.e. little Vitamin D) then you can get free cereal, and get your fix that way. If the weather is good, it asks you to pay for them!
3. Make a vending machine do weird and wonderful things
One of the best examples we’ve seen is the Coca Cola Happiness vending machine. This obviously took a fair bit of co-ordinating, but they nailed the element of surprise. Dispensing a 6 foot long board of cupcakes from what most would think is a traditional coke vending machine, will get anyone scratching their heads! You can see the video here. Coca Cola loves pushing the technological and social boundaries when it comes to vending (in fact, they were one of the first companies to use vending machines in the world) and they have a number of incredibly successful viral campaigns centred on them.
4. Test your consumers’ loyalty
Fantastic Delites pushed their consumers to the limit by dangling the holy carrot – a free product. The challenges increased in difficulty progressively, from pressing a button a few times, to performing dance routines you’d rarely see in a public place. See the video here.
5. Facebook vending machine – give away something cool in exchange for Facebook Likes!
Pepsi created a vending machine that dispensed free samples in exchange for Facebook Likes, and a successful viral Youtube video at the same time (you can see it here). This is actually a very interesting idea, as increasing a Facebook page’s Likes can be far more valuable to marketers than simple Tweets, unless they convert to Twitter Followers. It’s also a great example of leveraging Social Media with Vending Machines – one of the few examples of using Facebook successfully in this context.
6. Integrate vending (and sampling) in to traditional Out Of Home Advertising
A great (and very recent) campaign aptly named ‘Tweet to Eat’ by Walkers Crisps in London saw bus shelter advertising panels converted to full on vending machines, with an added twist – the Walkers ambassador virtually stuck inside. It’s a creative way to bring novelty to every day, with the benefit of dispensing a physical product that consumers can enjoy there and then. You can check out the Youtube video here.