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Australian Vending Machine Humiliates

In possibly the most brilliant marketing campaign ever devised to sell rice cakes, an Australian snack maker has built one of the most entertaining vending machines ever created. There’s no monetary transaction required: the user must earn Fantastic Delites rice cake chips through funny (and, perhaps, slightly humiliating) activities to earn a full box of the fantastic snacks. While the clever machine probably will not change the world of vending service, it certainly represents an innovative use of these classic machines.

 

More Than a Snack Machine

We all know how a vending machine works: In goes your money, out comes a snack. But we’re in a different world now, the Youtube generation. Brand building and marketing isn’t what it used to be. Viral video is the way to go, the real way to get your product or service in front of millions.

So Fantastic Delites’ marketing gurus hatched a scheme. What’s the best way to create buzz on Youtube? With a funny video. What’s the easiest way to create a funny viral video? Use the classic “candid camera” method: “Humiliate. They’ll appreciate.”

They cooked up a vending service that would humiliate users, or at least make them grin a little. And they put a camera nearby.

 

Fearsome Interactivity

Here’s how it worked: The vending machine was set in a public area, presumably a shopping center. It advertised that users could get a free box of Fantastic Delites rice crackers. All they had to do was press a big red button and do what the screen said.

The vending service machine’s instructions to consumers boiled down to three activities: hit a button a hundred, five hundred, even five thousand times; bow and worship an image of a Fantastic Delites Rice Cracker; or dance like a fiend. Meanwhile, the cameras caught the fun for a Youtube audience.

 

Building the Brand

The resulting video has resulted in nearly a million Youtube hits—an incredible feat for a company with fewer than 25,000 likes on its Facebook page. The video represents not just a cool use of vending service and vending machines, but a highly successful marketing and public relations move from an emerging Down Under snack company. So what’s the moral of the story? If you want to sell rice crackers, you’d better make ‘em laugh.