Vending machine gives out bikes & . . .
Jun 22, 2012 / 5:00 am
It doesn't dispense pop or chips, it offers items like mountain bikes, kayaks and surfboards, all made in BC.
The BC Moments Machine shocked people passing through Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco back in May, by giving away big ticket prizes.
The one of a kind 14-foot tall, 10-foot wide vending machine dished out BC made products as a way to encourage travellers to experience all the province has to offer.
The Moments Machine is part of Tourism BC's spring summer campaign, titled '100 BC Moments'. The campaign takes place every year, under different titles or objectives and targets North America, but this is the first time Tourism BC has launched a vending machine.
Karen Kasprick, Marketing Communications Manager for Tourism BC, says the ministry decided to do something special for the San Francisco market.
"San Francisco is a really natural fit, because it's only two to two and a half hours away depending on your air carrier. So it's super easy and convenient to get to come up to BC."
Kasprick says in 2010 the Ministry, took the zipline that was used in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics, down to San Francisco as a way to bring another BC experience to life.
Tourism BC has also promoted a winter campaign, where they creating a ski lift out of an escalator in Toronto and gave away vouchers to the 13 BC ski resorts.
The spring summer campaign for this year, which included the Magic Moments machine and an online media campaign, cost the ministry $4 million dollars. Kasprick says the money spent on this campaign is comparative to years past.
As part of the online portion of the campaign the ministry ran a URL titled 100bcmoments.com, which compiled 'moments' from every region in BC and it was nine of these that were selected to be brought to life with the vending machine.
"The whole purpose of going down there and having this machine set up was to get interest for the province and to visit BC this summer, but it was also to bring these moments to life that you could do when you came here," says Kasprick.
Kasprick says the machine was set up to come on at random times throughout the day, over a three day period.
"A street team handed out post cards, and the post cards reflected the nine different moment that were on the vending machine. So when people interacted with the machine, they could select one of the nine different moments that really spoke to them. Then they would watch a little video on the machine that reflected that moment, and then out popped a moment."
Approximately 325 prizes were handed out, from items such as bicycles to water bottles.
Kasprick travelled down to San Francisco to help with the campaign and she says she was amazed at the stories she heard from people about their visits to BC.
"I had one man tell me he had been to Tofino and it was just amazing. He didn't even get in line to use the machine, he just wanted to share his story about his trip to BC."
Those who stopped to speak with the Tourism BC street team were encouraged to go online and learn about more BC moments. Prizes were also available online including a $20,000 vacation for up to 10 people.
Overall Kasprick says the campaign took several months to put together and was developed through the tourism strategy for BC.
It's unclear where the moments machine will wind up next, but Kasprick says Tourism BC is looking into other viable markets.
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