Great Experiential Marketing: Santander’s Jenson Button


Christmas may well be over (sob), but we’re still clinging onto that festive cheer.


In doing so, we stumbled across this heart-warming festive activation from Santander – “The Jenson Button”. 

Santander crammed F1 driver and Santander celebrity brand ambassador Jenson Button into an ATM to distribute gifts to customers who thought they were simply testing out a new type of ATM. 

Upon testing the machine, customers were asked to push the “Jenson Button”. After pushing it, the ATM’s screen folded down to reveal Mr Button handing over a gift of £100. He also exited the machine to hand over a special Christmas hamper, explaining he is their “Santander Secret Santa”.santander_jenson_button_live_brand_experience_secret_santa_3

We do love a good pun; the play on word with Button resulted in a great tongue-in-cheek activation from Santander that brought smiles to customers faces this Christmas.  

This activation reminds us of Walkers’ twitter-activated vending machine where the brand trapped long-term Brand Ambassador Gary Lineker inside.  Other quirky and inspirational vending machine activations we’ve come across include:

There are trampolines behind this vending machine

A tiny football pitch inside a vending machine

Coca-Cola’s invisible couples-only vending machine

Sony’s Bottled Walkman

Milka’s vending machine gets people to hold hands

Amstel’s ‘Do Nothing’ Vending Machine

Yawn-activated coffee machine

Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.