I’m a fan of live advertising, especially if that experience surprises and delights people — giving them something more than just a message or impression. That’s why I’ve written about Coke’s Happiness Machine campaign — a campaign that tries to faithfully deliver on the brand promise in a way that a tagline just can’t.

So this idea for Coke’s rival gets my attention. PepsiCo’s vending machine for its Lay’s brand “is combining product sampling with storytelling in Argentina in an unusual vending machine that appears to manufacture Lay’s potato chips before your eyes after a real potato, rather than coins, is dropped in a slot.”

The Lay’s machine, which will make its first appearance in a Buenos Aires supermarket this fall, features an intricate system of tubes, flames and boiling water as the potato is seen going through six distinct steps: washing, peeling, cutting, cooking, salting and finally packaging, ending with a bag of Lay’s potato chips popping out of the machine. The process, which looks incredibly real, is actually a video that appears to show the inner workings of potato chip manufacturing.

That’s pretty cool. I especially like this touch:

There’s even a small heater at the bottom so the sample pack is dispensed to the shopper warm, like a freshly cooked potato. But the heater must turn on briefly to warm each bag and then switch off, because the machine would melt down if the heater were on all the time.

Check it out here.

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