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Hillshire's Ultra-Classy Vending Machine Comes With Its Own Maître d' and Butler


Here's something no marketer has ever tried anywhere before in the history of the universe—a wacky vending machine stunt!

This particular machine, set up by VML to plug Hillshire Snacking's meats, cheeses and nuts as the fanciest treats in town, was painted gold and came with an ornate rug, velvet ropes and its own maître d' and butler.

The maître d' quizzed passersby to determine whether they were sophisticated enough to try some product. The butler—on duty inside the unit, naturally—handed out samples, sipped tea and made mock-snooty faces.

Brush off those natty tails, grab your monocle and check out the video below:

"Have you ever worn a jacket before, sir?" "Nah, I live in L.A." Heh.

Now, the dude with the operatic voice who sings on cue seems almost too good be to true. But we're assured he was a "real person" out for a stroll in Santa Monica during The Fanciest Vending Machine's two-day engagement in September. (As if anyone in L.A. is entirely "real," anyway.)

"We are targeting consumers with a millennial mindset," Megan Huddleston, director of marketing for the Hillshire Snacking brand, tells AdFreak. "They have a passion for food exploration and like to try new flavors and push boundaries."

Fair enough. Though the notion of a tricked-out vending machine seems sorta old hat (old top hat, that is). Plus, the folks who took part in the stunt probably would've appreciated a free beer for their trouble. Or swag. Though at least they didn't have to bow down to get some chow.

At times, actor James Lancaster, squeezed in behind the glass, looks like he could use a hug, but at least the crew tried to keep him comfortable.

"Staying true to the elevated nature of our brand, the vending machine was air conditioned," says Huddleston. "It was a hot day in L.A., and James was likely one of the coolest on set."

Client: Hillshire Snacking
Campaign: "World's Fanciest Vending Machine"
Agency: VML
Producer: Lara Hurnevich
Executive Creative Director: Mike Wente
Executive Creative Director: Sean Burns
Senior Copywriter: Alf Zapata
Senior Art Director: Conor Clarke
Production Company: Nice Studios
Director: Gil Nevo
Executive Producer (Production Co): Elizabeth Scully
Executive Producer (Production Co): Ian Noe
Director of Photography: Mark Odgers
Principals: James Lancaster, Mark Saul
Managing Director: Julia Hammond
Account Supervisor: Stephanie Jones
Associate Account Manager: Mary Tutera
Channel Supervisor: Nathan Jokers
Associate Channel Manager: Leila Choucair

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