Maybe the Bad Pitch blog has jaded me, but it's rare for a relevant pitch to ping my email. So when it does -- it sings. The latest siren comes from the National Automatic Merchandise Association (NAMA).
In 2007, I noticed a lot of interesting vending machine concepts in play.** The above is a PSFK-inspired video for a reader-generated trend discussions. I even did a follow up post on the vend trend. Back then I learned Japan is the vending machine capital of the world, with more than 20 machines for every citizen.
Machines once serving up only shelf-stable snacks and cold drinks are now dispensing everything from gold bars to breakfast meat. But in the U.S., vending machines have less ubiquity than Japan and a bit of a perception issue.
Vend. Love. Win.
The NAMA is attacking this issue, in part, with a Facebook contest: Vend. Love. Win. According to the (good) pitch I received: "This online contest is...the beginning of a larger campaign designed to boost awareness and generate excitement among consumers about the vending experience.
"The program is geared largely to Gen Y consumers due to recent NAMA research indicating that Gen Y prefers vending over convenience stores and grocery or drug stores."
According to Vending Market Watch a key challenge the research found is the need to overcome the perception that vending does not provide a good value for the money, along with not having the products consumers want and not being able to make a transaction without cash.
Mobile Vending Museum
In addition to the Facebook contest is the Gratitude Tour, "a mobile marketing tour of innovative vending machines that will dispense free products in large urban settings" that will kick off in seven cities in September. A mobile app focused on vending and nutrition is under development as well as games and a component targeting other associations -- Vending Vanguard. NAMA is communicating with Gen Y friendly associations focused on various facets of college.
"Will It Vend?"
Check out the Facebook page. I'll wait. What do you think about the contest and the rest of the campaign's components?
Without more context, the campaign feels more like a lot of stuff. But I will dispense with the criticism (see what I did there?) as I want them to succeed. I'm obviously pro-vending machine. And I'm hopeful there's an integrated thread running throughout the above list -- a thread that will make the campaign results sing to the NAMA in the same fashion as their pitch sang to me.
**Prior to 2007, my fondest vending machine memory was in this NSFW clip from the movie Slap Shot.