Long gone are the days of analog vending machines that had consumers scrounging to find change and businesses dealing with countless heavy, unsanitary coins. Here are the days of the smarter, money-less, more interactive and more convenient vending machine, and companies have been taking the concept to new levels for the last couple years.
Campaigns have even now stopped using money as currency and allow companies to be more creative by using things like loyalty points, skills (gaming), shares, likes, hashtags, check-ins, proof of nationality and endless other tactics as payment for a product. Along with the newer vending machine technology comes the ability to provide a safer environment for purchasing more expensive products. Companies are even basing campaigns around a vending machine concept and using consumer reactions as a viral piece. It’s been working.
Take the newest idea from Nike: placing a vending machine in a different, random spot every day in downtown NYC where people can pay for products with the Fuel points from their Fuelband, which they earned by being active that day. The campaign has gone viral and has people going on a scavenger hunt around New York to experience it.
Or take this idea for Molson Canadian: placing a beer vending machine / fridge in a foreign country where only Canadians could access it using their Canadian passport as payment for a Molson Canadian beer. This payment tactic also allowed them to make sure the person was of age. The concept went viral everywhere in Canada.
Another concept from L’Oreal uses a vending machine in the traditional sense of using money for payment, but takes experiential vending to another level in other creative ways. The experience takes place in the subway where lots of women are preparing to put on makeup on their ride to work and consists of a full-body mirror that takes your silhouette and suggests makeup combinations based on what you’re wearing. It then allows you to purchase the recommended products through the vending machine. This idea pulls in revenue and also worked as a viral campaign.
Seeing this new trend working so well in the wild makes you wonder how it could be leveraged in-store in the world of shopper marketing.