Quirky Vending Machines Dispense Wit: Photos
A Bulgarian advertising firm has launched the Amstel Pause campaign, which makes people pause and do nothing and then rewards the stillness with a beer.Next Digital Creative Agency, Amstel
In the last few years, savvy advertising firms have created numerous quasi-guerilla marketing campaigns by bringing motion detection and facial recognition technologies to one of the world's most recognizable dispenser of small goods: the vending machine. While these machines still dish out the usual articles of food and drink, their method for doing so is anything but typical.
For example, take Next Digital Creative Agency, a Bulgarian advertising firm that launched the Amstel Pause campaign, the first vending machine "that makes you do nothing and gives you beer in return.”
Citing today's generation of people who rarely take breaks, campaign designers developed a public installation to remind people that good things come to those who wait. Lured to the vending machine by red velvet ropes, people are instructed to stand in one spot and push a red button that rings a bell and starts a timer. Users must remain still. Any movement triggers a motion sensor and resets the timer. After a successfully idle three minutes, out pops a can a beer.
Despite all the gimmicks, some vending machines are employing such the level of creative engagement that nothing short of world peace and harmony is being offered. But is this really enlightenment, or just empty advertising? Decide for yourself and take a tour.
This vending machine has no instructions or coin slots, but people eventually figured out that they needed to hold hands to get chocolate.Milka
Milka, a Swiss-based chocolate company, thinks humanity needs to work together to achieve a common goal, like scoring a chocolate bar. As part of its "Dare To Be Tender" campaign (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-FFcQfxpKA), Milka set up a vending machine and a purple cow statue in public place in Argentina.
The vending machine had no instructions or coin slots, so people eventually came to the conclusion that holding hands and collaborative thinking yielded chocolate. The bars were dispensed only if people created a "chain of tenderness" by joining hands, with one hand touching the cow's hoof and another touching the machine.
This machine encourages diplomacy between two countries at odds with each other.Coca-Cola
In its "Small World Machines" campaign, Coca-Cola set up two high-tech vending machines in Pakistan and India -- two countries with a notorious history of not getting along. Each machine was equipped with a large, touch-activated 3-D screen and cameras that were connected via video feed so that the machine in Pakistan looked like a window into India and vice-versa.
To receive a Coke, people were invited to interact with each other on opposite sides of the border as an act of two-way diplomacy. The machines asked people to share experiences, such as virtually touching hands, tracing peace signs and hearts, or sharing a dance.
In rugby-crazed Argentina, thirsty brutes need to tackle this machine in order to receive a beer.Cerveza Salta
While hostile force isn't necessarily recommended when it comes to warring, nuclear-armed counties, sometimes aggression is a good thing, especially in rugby-crazed Argentina.
Beer company Cerveza Salta teamed up with creative agency Ogilvy to create the "Rugbeer" vending machine. The machine has a built-in sensor that requires thirsty brutes to tackle the machine in order to receive a beer. Well, not tackle it entirely, but giving it a strong body check does the trick.
The vending machine toured Argentina's northern Salta Province, where rugby is king of sports. In fact, as it toured the region, Rugbeer was so popular that it increased beer sales by 25 percent in the bars it visited.
A two-player arcade game pits gamers against each other for a winning cup of beer.McKinney
If tackling a vending machine for beer is a little too "jock" for you, how about playing for suds on a virtual battle field?
Developed by New York advertising firm McKinney to market Big Boss Brewing Company’s beer, "The Last Barfighter" is a hand-made, two-player arcade game. Instead of coin slots, the "beercade" game has two taps for players to place their cups. The first player who wins three fight rounds is rewarded with a cup of beer.
Over the summer McKinney took home a Cannes Lion advertising award for the "The Last Barfighter." The beercade won a bronze in the Branded Content & Entertainment category for Best Use or Integration of Gaming.
Yawn and this machine dispenses a hot cup of coffee.Douwe Egbert
After a crazy night of shoulder checking vending machines and swilling ale compliments of the beercade, the next morning will likely be a rude awakening. My advice would be to drag your hungover butt to the nearest Douwe Egbert vending machine and show it how sleep-deprived you are simply by yawning.
Why? Because the Dutch coffee company's newest vending machine is equipped with facial recognition software that detects the shape and movement of muscles in the face. Once it detects the familiar shape of a yawn, the machines pours a hot cup of coffee.
Unfortunately, the only place Douwe Egbert set up a machine was in South Africa's O.R. Tambo International Airport, which might be a difficult and long trek, especially if you're hungover.
Get your very own 10.5-inch pie, made fresh, in under three minutes.Let's Pizza
Now that you have some caffeine in you and your hangover is wearing off, you're probably starving. No problem -- Italian Claudio Torghel has you covered. He's the designer of Let's Pizza vending machines, which dishes out fresh pizza pies with no gimmicks.
You may balk at a vending machine serving up anything fresh, but Let's Pizza machines are a cut above factory farmed pizzas. After customers pay, they select one of four kinds of pizza available. Inside, a machine mixes flour and water together and kneads it into dough, which is then rolled flat. After toppings are added, the pizza is cooked in an infrared oven and dispensed in a take-home box. Voila, your very own 10.5-inch pie in under three minutes.
Ingredients are not frozen, but kept refrigerated in single-serving packages until needed. Each machine has enough ingredients for 100 pizzas before it needs restocking.
For dessert, buy a cupcake from Sprinkles, a trendy bakery in Beverly Hills.Sprinkles, Facebook
A meal surely isn't complete without dessert. So after you're done scarfing down your pizza, you can hit up the cupcake ATM at Sprinkles, a trendy bakery in Beverly Hills.
The bright pink 24-hour Sprinkles machine not only dispenses freshly baked cupcakes, it also dishes out cupcake mixes, apparel and even doggie treats. "24 Hour Sprinkles will be continuously restocked day and night with a variety of freshly baked cupcake flavors,” according to the company, which calls the machine the “world’s first cupcake automat.”
Other than a touchscreen to facilitate transactions, the cupcake ATM doesn't boast much pomp and circumstance. But if that's what you're looking for, it can't be too far away. After all, you're in Beverly HIlls. Regardless, a cupcake vending machine would surely make my Top 10 List of Dream ATMs.
Buy or sell digital currency from the world's first Bitcoin ATM.Christopher Morris/Corbis
The world's first bitcoin ATM recently went live at Waves Coffee House in Vancouver, British Columbia. Owned by American company Robocoin, the ATM allows users to buy or sell the digital currency. "It just makes it easier for people to send assets around the world instantly, with basically no fees and no middlemen," Mitchell Demeter, co-founder of the Vancouver-based Bitcoiniacs, told the Globe.
Demeter was responsible for bringing the ATM to the coffee shop and says he plans on installing four more machines around Canada in the next few weeks. Though locations have yet to be determined, cities such as Montreal and Toronto are potential candidates.
Robocoin says the ATMs are more convenient because users can bypass the tedious online verification process. With the ATMs, users can receive bitcoins within 15 seconds after the machines scan their palm to create a virtual wallet.
Dreambox aims to fuel the 3D-printing revolution.Dreambox
Wanted to print out a 3-D object but not sure where or how? If your'e lucky enough to be on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley, look around for a Dreambox. This vending machine, created by David Pastewka, Ricard Berwick and Will Drevno, allows anyone to upload designs via a USB stick. Once printed, the object is automatically removed from the build surface and dispensed into a private locker inside the machine. A text is automatically sent to the customer to tell him that the object is ready. The alert also contains a unique code to open the locker.