Get schooled:

Share this page

Yawn activated coffee machine from Douwe Egberts

By Joss Davidge

This is a nice example of a brand providing a service at a time of need in order to connect with consumers. 

Douwe Egberts presented bleary-eyed travellers at an airport with a coffee vending machine.

Although there was no button to press, coffees were dispensed when the machine detected the customer yawning. It certainly brought a smile to weary travellers and the video has since picked up some momentum online.

It’s a great idea, but we only question the use of a vending machine.  We have seen dozens of activations recently that have used a vending machine to dispense something unexpected in a novel way.  While this really is a fun mechanic and is bound to get people talking, it just feels like it misses out on the human touch.  Imagine if Douwe Egberts had positioned a crack team of yawn spotters in the airport, on hand to scurry over to post-yawn travellers with a freshly poured cup of coffee.  Having a 1:1 experience, seeing a friendly face and being able to engage with someone who is knowledgeable about the brand would have left a fantastic impression.douwe

We are not slamming the creative idea; we understand the hoops that agencies have to jump through to be able to secure activity in public places, with airports being particularly tricky to infiltrate.  So if a vending machine was the only option, then fitting it with yawn-recognition technology is a great way to create an memorable experience around a fairly menial task.  But we just think the impact could have been heightened with the use of informed brand ambassadors on hand to distribute coffee with a smile at a time of need. douwe_2

Other vending machine campaigns that have caught our eye:

Coca-Cola 007 challenge 

Samsung’s giveaway stare


View posts about

Free eBook: Uncover the power of brand experience

Unleash the power of experiential for your brand. Tap into this new world of brand experience by building brand love through magical, meaningful and memorable experiences.

Download the guide today