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Vending Machines to Make You Believe in Marketing Again


BErlimontThe Berlinomat vending machine

The Berlinomat is vending machine by the German store of the same name that offers a huge range of products. They combine a touch screen experience with smart geolocation – which in regular terms mean you can grab a last-minute poncho if it starts to rain! They’re designed for airports and train stations. The idea is that they’re there to save the day when you’re in a pinch – and to create some very strong positive associations with their brand!

Japanese Wacoal’s bra vending machine

Speaking of things that pinch, Japanese lingerie brand Wacoal decided that there was no better place to start selling its unmentionables than in a vending machine. They set up a temporary bra vending machine around the streets of Tokyo. It ended up being fairly controversial and drew a lot of attention to the brand. It got some comments from women saying that they wouldn’t buy a bra without trying it on first, along with some more inventive input about how the vending machines would only encourage male cross-dressers. We’ll give them the first point.

vending-machine-marketingSprinkles Cupcakes ATMs

Having a food vending machine isn’t a revolutionary concept, but usually you’ll get something that’s meant to have a shelf life of various millennia rather than something freshly-baked. That changed when Sprinkles Cupcakes launched its cupcake vending machine, which actually sells both cupcakes and cookies despite the name. There are currently 12 across the US, with a 13th location coming soon. Could you resist the temptation of having one of these around the corner?

Farmer’s Fridge non-vending machine

If you’re looking for a healthier option then this vending machine by Farmers Fridge is for you. This is a “veggie machine” where you can get mostly locally grown vegetables, along with other things popular with heath nuts like fruit and even quinoa. Everything is packed into big jars to keep it fresh. Healthiness is happiness, and this company’s marketing machine is helping to redefine the stereotype that vending machines sell only the very worst kind of food.

vending-machine-marketing-2Coca-Cola’s “Small World” machine

The most well-known vending machine is probably a soda one branded by Coca-Cola. Recently, they launched a campaign in Pakistan and India to try to foster communication between shoppers in both countries with the “It’s a Small World” machine.

The machine streams a live recording of you while you’re standing in front of it. You’ll also see the live feed from somewhere in the other country – a bit like a vending machine version of a Skype call. It’s a bold move for a company and it takes good-willed marketing to a new field altogether.

Coca-Cola’s (again) T-shirt vending machine

Coke launched a line of vending machines that gave out free T-shirts. Was this just out of the goodness of their hearts? No, it was also to get people tweeting about their brand!

People had to tweet which brand of Coke was their favourite out of 4 types using the hashtag #ChooseHappiness. Then, the machine gave them a shirt that matched the type they’d chosen. As custom T-shirt printers, we think this is an incredible idea!


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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