In the past two years, we have seen a stream of various vending machine stunts. Some elaborate, others somewhat anti-climactic. Some focusing on a genuine gesture, others revolving around a playful sense of cruelty. However, despite the multiple successes we have seen, decked out vending machines are not a platform that is appropriate for all products and brands.
For products that are not usually dispensed out of a vending machine, trying to turn your product into a vending machine stunt usually results in a stunt that fails to draw a lot of traction or one that doesn’t quite relate your product. Nevertheless, this challenge is not impossible. With an appropriate partnership or a unique idea, brands that are not beverages or snacks can pull off a successful and viral stunt. However, as vending machine stunts become more common, the marginal benefit of tying a non-vending product to this template certainly begins to plateau.
Duracell could have tried to partner with a beverage brand or tried to somehow come up with a vending machine stunt on their own, but decides to forgo the trend completely and re-fit a completely different mundane object – a bus shelter.
This well-rounded stunt, not only keeps people waiting for the bus toasty with a fun, interactive activity, but also associates their warmth to the power of Duracell. Although bus shelter stunts are nothing new, they are relatively untouched compared to the score of vending machine stunts, which enhances the stunt’s level of novelty.
It should be noted, however, that the same limitations of vending machines also apply to bus shelters in that it can also fit brands poorly if not used correctly. Although Pepsi Max recently racks up over 5 million views with a bus shelter prank that uses augmented reality, the connection between an apocalypse and an over-caffeinated beverage seems so loose that it seems Pepsi is better off sticking to vending machines.