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Douwe Egberts Vending Machine Awards Sleepy Patrons for Yawns

douwe egberts yawn recognition

A view from the Douwe Egberts facial recognition vending machine.

In an industry in which baristas are the single most important drivers of customer satisfaction, corporate coffee companies continue to try to gain customers through automated vending programs.

The latest marketing ploy comes from the South African branch of global coffee giant Douwe Egberts, which set up a vending machine in the O.R. Tambo International Airport near Johannesburg, South Africa, that used facial recognition technology to detect the exact moment of a yawn. Yawn detected, a coffee dispenses.

The marketing campaign, which ‘awarded’ 210 airport travelers for their yawns, falls somewhere in between Dunkin’ Donuts’ effort last year to have automated sprayers fill buses with coffee smells in Seoul, or the Taiwanese convenience store chain using edible black powder to meticulously draw faces in foam.

Here’s a video from DE on the marketing campaign:


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