Interactive Vending Machine Reveals how low People Will go for Free Food

I’ve got mixed feelings about this one: is getting people to bow down to your product the most awesome thing ever, or just plain humiliating?  Personally, I’m embarrassed for all of the people in the video below.  Except for the grandmotherly lady who takes the initiative and hits the button 100 times for her free rice snack.

So what is this thing? It’s Australia’s Fantastic Delites new marketing campaign produced by Clemenger BBDO called “How far will you go for Fantastic Delites?”  As you’ll see below, people go very far indeed.  Dancing, literally getting on their knees and bowing to the machine, doing the chicken dance, pressing the button 100, 1000, and even 5000 times–it’s degradation at its best.  For rice snacks. RICE snacks, people! Does that even sound worth it to you?  For better or for worse, our opinions actually don’t matter because the video shows that type of marketing to be effective –just look at all the crowds!  I think a major part of the appeal is just that–it draws a crowd and attracts attention.  People stop what they are doing to watch another human make a fool of his or herself.  And then of course they become curious, what is this thing, what’s it for, who is Fantastic Delites, and maybe I want one.

This is a fantastic example of interactivity in marketing.  It’s pushing the limits of human-machine interaction, all while making a name for Fantastic Delites not just at its location, but around the world because of that video.  I’m impressed.  And slightly repulsed.  But mostly impressed.

Source: AdWeek

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2 thoughts on “Interactive Vending Machine Reveals how low People Will go for Free Food

  1. Seems vaguely familiar to those online “free __________” (fill in the blank) IF you go through pages and pages of marketing “opportunities” to get the free whatever. You get to what I call the internet WALL — similar to a marathon runner hitting the wall — where you either quit, or go all the way.

  2. Wow, thanks, Laura – this is really amazing, no matter how you feel about it…

    The location of this vending machine…right smack-dab in a shopping plaza, all foot traffic – making this a community-shared ‘event’ – as well as the ‘unknown factor’ (what is this machine going to ask us to do next?) – create the perfect conditions for this concept. The changing demands add a thrill factor. Clearly, no one is thinking about the big picture when they start the chicken dance…

    The worst of it was seeing people get on their knees and bow. That was hugely sad and disturbing…
    People were actually willing to kneel to a vending machine in front of an audience…and the audience WAS key. Would they have knelt while alone, in a photo booth or something like that, to get a free rice snack?

    It would be interesting to ask them how they feel about it after the fact, watching themselves on Youtube.
    I observed that the first girl did hesitate and look around for a second before she dropped to her knees.

    The act of kneeling is hugely symbolic, both as prayer/worship and as humiliation. Murderers sometimes force their victims to kneel, as a final humiliation, before shooting them in the head. I suppose the other allusion, the one of worshiping, is even more disturbing within this context. All that other stuff was silly and harmless, even though quite manipulative. The kneeling and bowing demand might backfire in public opinion before this is all over.

    Fantastic Degradation vs Fantastic Delite…or maybe Demeaning Delites…

    I think they ought to make the most of the silly but harmless stuff – after all, as Laura points out – the food reward isn’t impressive. There are lots more fun and wacky things people could do that wouldn’t insult their human dignity.

    Brilliant marketing concept? Definitely.

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