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

For more sophisticated snacking

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

@DaveGian davegia@hotmail.com David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.
Publish date: October 24, 2016 https://dev.adweek.com/creativity/hillshires-ultra-classy-vending-machine-comes-its-own-ma-tre-d-and-butler-174243/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT