The vending machine with free Knacki Balls

If you have an immature sense of humour, now is the time to resist your instinctive urge to giggle while we contemplate a new marketing initiative in the vending sector.

We’re talking about Knacki Balls, a snack product from Herta (a Nestlé brand), and its new promotional video brought to life by creative directors Sebastien De Valck and Arnaud Pitz. Take a look …


Pitting your wits against retired Belgian footballer Leo Van der Elst looks like fun, and the video shows how much fun went into setting up this whole stunt. I’d love to see someone like Luiz Suarez do this one day (but take a lawyer with you, and some plasters).

As for the viral marketing something like this produces, even for a player many of us haven’t heard of, it’s just pure gold. And it still seems to have legs, despite there being many other examples of vending machine viral marketing over the last year or two, including Coke’s Hug Machine and the Strongbow Dark Fruit vending machine that was installed at one of the UK’s busiest train stations.

It’s been great watching the vending industry come on in leaps and bounds in terms of marketing itself, even if it’s still the big companies spending all the money.

Summer 2014 has provided ample opportunity to ride on the coattails of the World Cup with all sorts of football-related activity, and this has to be one of the more fun examples of how food and drink can capitalise on the broader socioeconomic zeitgeist.