Give me Coffee and TV ...and Coke ...and Snacks

This week, we are going back through the last 30 years or so to look at the way in which our industry, its machines and products, have been portrayed on television.

Obviously public perception of vending machines, and the products stocked, has a direct impact on customer interest and purchases, and nothing influences the public’s attitude towards products like advertising in television. This is especially true of the pre-internet era – so let’s start in 1985 when vending was cool…

Turn on a TV in 1985 and you could hardly go five minutes without spotting a vending machine pumping out a Pepsi or a Coke.
Vending machines were the primary delivery method in both products advertising for a decade or two.


Move on through the late 80s and into the 90s to find everyone’s favourite Nescafe couple falling in love through a mutual love of Gold Blend. This soap-opera format ad campaign spanned six years and is probably the most famous series of ads in the UK.

Modern marketers question the efficacy of romance based ads because, statistically, this disuades singletons from purchasing products.


Once we reach the 2000s, Coke is showing us how the inside of a vending machine really works… with fantasy creatures delivering your drink by airship.
Although this campaign was off-the-wall and surreal, it doesn’t do any harm to romanticise vended drinks in this way.

The 2000s also brought with it the romantic elements of the predecessor coffee ads, but highlighting newer and more innovative home coffee products. With the advent of affordable home coffee machines, such as the Nespresso brand, big names like George Clooney and Matt Damon could be seen in these mini-story ads.
A new age of both male and female empowerment enveloped this amusing series of ‘Clooney’ ads, demonstrating coffee as a product truly integral to the 21st century.

Conquering the Criticism

Whatever happened to the televised beverage?

The above journey through a few advertisements portrays a stream of relevant and positive messaging around the types of products we all stock and sell. So why is the public’s stereotypical view of vending a negative one?

Well, I recently noticed detective Baptiste, in the BBC show of the same name, slagging off a bean-to-cup coffee: ‘Cappuccino, Latte… doesn’t matter, they all taste the same’. Good detective, terrible pallet.

Now take a look at this image from a pivotal scene in the movie ‘Demolition’ (starring Jake Gyllenhall):


The film’s protagonist’s life unravels, triggered by a dodgy vend. (Demolition, 2016)

Despite media like this giving us a bad name, there is plenty we can do in the industry to overcome any objections:

  • Emphasise and demonstrate machine reliability to buyers.
  • Advertise the opportunity and convenience that vending and coffee machines bring to a business.
  • Ensure that we all know how to look after and maintain our machines, keeping customer issues to a minimum.
  • Give them a taste! Why not bring a Costa or Starbucks Coffee along when demonstrating a coffee machine? Let the customer compare and see for themselves that a bean-to-cup coffee from a machine is easily comparable these days.
  • Smash their perceptions with:

 Exceptional coffee and exceptional build quality from the Primo Range.


Outstanding freestanding hot drinks, sturdy bottle vendors, versatile snacks and food machines.

All available through Westomatic.

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