Spotted: World’s best-looking vending machine?

Just sharing a few photos of an especially eye-catching vending machine I ran into at the Austin, Texas airport. It’s a great example not just of getting travelers’ attention, but also putting the right product in the right place: who hasn’t left home without forgetting to pack some crucial toiletry or cosmetic item?

San Francisco-based Benefit Cosmetics just rolled out the machines in Austin this month; they can also be found in New York (JFK), Las Vegas, Cleveland, and Houston. The company plans to put them in 20 more airports by the end of the year. They stock 30 of Benefit’s top-selling products, from $16 lip gloss on the low end to $32 beauty kits on the high end. The front and side windows feature lenticular animations that make the women appear to move as you walk by. PR manager Kate Murphy tells me that the machines were designed by Benefit and produced by Storyland Studios, and they rely on a technology platform from ZoomSystems, which has built automated kiosks for Best Buy, Apple, and Macy’s.

Parked next to a run-of-the-mill automated kiosk selling USB chargers and Bose headphones, Benefit’s pink beauty bus couldn’t possibly have stood out any more. It’s a great example of introducing something visually remarkable into what’s ordinarily a pretty dull environment of sports bars, newsstands, and waiting areas.

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