How highly do you care about advertising? Enough to get paid for it or get free products? Vending company Apex Corp. are planning to bring free or subsidized non-alcoholic beverages to consumers willing to watch a 30-second commercial before partaking in a tasty beverage. This should be launching in June in Japan(only), the MediCafe project will give users the option of plunking down the ¥70 ($0.58) to ¥120 ($1) required to purchase an item, or watching an advertisement for half a minute while the machine dispenses their liquid of choice. Not all drinks would be free, as some advertisers would only be offering up discounts in exchange for your attention. "We will select the locations of vending machines which would best suit the customers targetted by advertisers," said an Apex company official.
The question is how highly do you value advertising? Is it now a commodity, interchangeable with products themselves? Is it worthy of a free drink or is it something in between. I think this is a step in the right direction, in terms of relationship building with consumers. So often advertising shouts, attempting to sell a product, in an unnatural way. I think most marketers agree, that the best advertising establishes dialogue in a humanistic manner and is beneficial for both parties. This seems to fall somewhere in the middle. Might we be able to change the perception of advertising with rewards like this?