When a new bakery or cupcake shop opens up, a plate of samples is sure to entice potential clients to come in for a taste. Prepackaged food producers, including both big companies and smaller gourmet mail-order places, don’t have this option and can’t make a connection with a customer unless someone gets something as a gift or is drawn in by good advertising, reviews, etc. to try their products. One company in the UK is trying to bridge the gap and has created a series of bus-stop billboards that dispense free samples of individually wrapped snack cakes.
These Mr Kipling brand snack cakes are being promoted as a great to-go treat, but it is definitely unusual to distribute them this way. The ads simple dispense the treats at the push of a button, so a curious cake fan can try one at any time . It is similar to the cupcake ATM idea – only it is free. These ads will be in 19 locations throughout London during this promotion, but if the idea catches on we just might start to see similar ads in the US.
A sample of moist cake or a bite-sized section of a muffin has drawn me in and prompted me to buy something many times at bakeries (and occasionally to pass things up, if I find I don’t care for them), so I would probably give these cake dispensing machines at least once. I suspect, however, that I’m not the only one who whole be tempted by a free snack cake, so hopefully the companies behind these ads have a plan in place to keep them well-stocked while the ads are running.