Virtual Vending Machines Drive Moving Experience For MINI Canada

If variety is the spice of life, then how about a virtual vending machine that allows passersby to select various varieties of  a car -- the 2011 MINI R5X? Do you prefer salty or sweet?

MINI Canada placed interactive vending machine projections on buildings throughout Toronto in December. Each vending machine, developed by TAXI 2, contained six virtual MINIs, varying by color and accessories. Each could be selected much like your favorite vending machine junk food, by its letter/number combination denoting its row and column location.

Passersby could choose the MINI of their choice by texting its location number to a number projected near the vending machine. The text triggered the selected MINI to drive around in one of several different ways, from driving up and down a ramp, to zipping through a pinball machine, hiding beneath one of three scrambled cups, and breaking through the vending machine glass and parachuting down to safety.

Users received a personalized SMS message while the animation played that encouraged them to become a MINI Facebook fan. As of this morning, MINI Canada had 8,435 "Likes" -- while MINI the overall brand had 713,128 "Likes."

See a demo here. Too bad there weren't edible versions passed out by brand ambassadors following the nighttime presentation, playing off the vending machine idea. Even better, imagine if an actual MINI came driving around the corner at the same time a MINI broke free from the vending machine and parachuted to terra firma?

Media Experts, the media agency of record for MINI Canada, teamed up with The Media Merchants to project the 168' high,  60' wide vending machines.

The project took three months for TAXI2 to complete; the agency started production back in September.

"With the introduction of four new colors, we wanted to show off that MINI owns customization like no other automotive brand," said the creative team at Taxi 2." "With over a million combinations, MINI outshines when it comes to colors and accessories. That's how the idea of the vending machine came to life."

According to Brad Foster, president of The Media Merchants, three locations were used as interactive vending machines on a nightly basis. Each locale was live for 2 hours, totaling six interactive hours per night.

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