Kit Kat launched their second installation (formerly seen in Japan) of Human Vending Machines at London's Victoria National Rail station on February 17th, 2009.
The picture pretty much says it all. The vending machine has a person in it who picks up the candy bar and drops it in the slot. It's part of the new Kit Kat "Working Like a Machine?" campaign, which urges people to take a break from the monotony of working.
This particular aspect of the campaign got me thinking about how far a company should go to get attention. Every brand wants their marketing to be memorable and generate buzz. But what if they run the risk of offending people - or in this case scaring people half to death - in the process? A friend of mine thought it was "horrible."
That said, I actually like this idea a lot. If I came across one of these during my commute, it would probably make my whole day.
Now check out the corresponding commercials.
They're hilarious and tie in brilliantly with the Human Vending Machines idea.
Here's my problem with this whole campaign: I think it's more than a little bit ill-timed. With unemployment numbers at 1.97 million in the UK (highest since 1997) it seems like poor taste to launch a marketing campaign about how rough it is to be working. A lot of people out there (myself included) would love to be working right now - even if we had to "work like a machine."
Final analysis: Good campaign. Bad timing.