5 Clever Vending Kiosks and Why They Are Strategic

Vending kiosks are increasingly being used within a company’s wider strategy and we’ve highlighted five below which stand out from the rest.

Douwe Egberts’ Coffee Machine

Douwe Egberts set up a coffee machine kiosk at the O.R. Tambo International Airport in South Africa, but instead of paying with money, customers paid with a yawn. A facial recognition system was used to recognise when customers were yawning, and then would dispense a free coffee to boost their energy.

At first people didn’t understand how to use the coffee machine, but gradually people understood that it was activated by yawns, and the tired people at the airport were once again happy and feeling alert after their free cup of coffee.

This is an incredibly strategic vending kiosk as it creates great associations with Douwe Egberts as a brand that wants to help people, treat consumers to free coffee, as well as offering an interactive way of delivering happiness.

Onitsuka Tiger

To launch Onitsuka Tiger, the original trainer brand from Japan, a vending machine was situated on Carnaby Street in London for 3 days only. There were up to 6 sizes available, so London shoppers could bag themselves a free pair of trainers in 1 of 6 sizes if they were quick enough.

This is a clever strategy by Onitsuka Tiger, it drew attention to an otherwise unknown brand on the streets in the centre of London. Creating a buzz around free trainers for those lucky enough to get them, it introduced the brand in an exciting and unique way which is more than likely to leave a lasting impression.

Coca Cola’s Vending Machine of Happiness

The vending machine of happiness captured many people’s hearts around the world. Many normal Coca Cola vending machines were taken hostage and turned into vending machines of happiness, providing exciting surprises to unsuspecting consumers. Surprise gifts varied from popcorn, games of twister, polaroid photographs, fresh flowers and pizzas.

This creative idea had an element of surprise as the consumers received more than what they originally expected and it tied into Coca Cola’s strategy of creating campaigns which trigger emotions. As this experience was so rare and unexpected, this vending machine has provoked people all over the world to share it on social media and has created a viral effect through people sharing their video and experiences.

Benefit Cosmetics

Dotted around multiple airports across the USA, Benefit Cosmetics have their own vending machines in bright pink, standing out a lot more than if placed in a corner in a busy duty free airport shop. The vending machine holds many favourites, including They’re Real! mascara and Porefessional primer, and offers a quick and easy route to pay for products without joining the queue at duty free..

Attracting attention with its bright pink colour and eye catching appearance, the vending machine increases sales for Benefit Cosmetics as well as making potential customers aware of their product line.


With vending machines in Standard Hotels in America near the outdoor pools, the Quicksilver kiosks are conveniently placed and sell board shorts (long shorts made popular by surfers), bikinis and sunglasses reissued from the 70s and 80s.

As well as helping the people who may have forgotten the items that are sold in the machine, the vending machine is also viewed as a novelty and exciting service that intrigues visitors, and encourages them to talk about it and discuss it on social media. The target audience for The Standard are the type of key influencers that Quiksilver wants to reach, and therefore they are drawing in the right people to promote the brand in a trend and popular hotel.

If you think a vending kiosk may be right for your business and strategy, take a look at our range of vending kiosks.

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