DUKE creates the first joke powered vending machine

Jive Cooldrinks’ have been the main sponsors of the annual Cape Town Jive Funny Festival for a few years. When tasked with launching a bright blue limited edition mystery flavour, DUKE took advantage of the event’s natural comedic connotation to create the Jive ‘Funny Flavour’.

Beyond traditional sampling of handing out free product, DUKE took the Jive ‘Funny Flavour’ sampling to a whole new experiential level. The agency created a one-of-a-kind vending machine where festivalgoers were encouraged to tell the machine their funniest joke and, in return, they would be rewarded with free Jive cooldrink and other branded promotional items. Unbeknown to guests, hidden inside this vending machine was popular Cape Town comedian, Yaseen Barnes, with plenty of humour up his sleeve.

DUKE Creative Director Gareth Cohen explains the concept behind the vending machine, “When we were asked to come up with a unique way to sample the limited edition Jive ‘Funny Flavour’ for the festival, we wanted to use humour as the currency to give away free samples. But in the spirit of comedy and surprise, instead of pouring money into a digital AI vending machine programed to vet the jokes, we decided to make things even more entertaining. When the consumer activated the machine, they were surprised to find comedian Yaseen Barnes hidden inside the machine, which ended up adding even more to the humour of the whole experience.”

In addition, the portability of the unit allowed Jive to take it to other events, helping to generate greater awareness beyond the Funny Festival. “If you don’t have a big budget, sometimes you just need to embrace the irreverence of an idea and find a way to get it made,” says Cohen. And if ever there was proof that irreverence and humour sells, 225,000 bottles of the shockingly bright, blue, unnamed flavour Jive cooldrinks surely add weight to the argument.

Commenting on the campaign Jive Marketing Director, Sean Burton says, “We were excited by the concept DUKE presented and even more excited when it was made feasible within our reduced budget. This is definitely a campaign that we at Jive and all the people who experienced it, will remember.”