Tue, March 03, 2009
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Machine with a human face

2009-03-03 10:48:08 GMT2009-03-03 18:48:08 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

Commuters at London's Victoria train station saw a familiar sight with a difference when a vending machine came to life.

The machine, placed in one of London's busiest rail stations, appeared normal to commuters until they went to purchase a chocolate bar. Customers then saw a smiling face asking them which bar they would like. Once paid for, the human machine vendor dropped their selected bar into the drawer, enabling customers to collect it.

SCRIPT:

At last, a machine with a human face.

This human snack-vending machine created a stir among rail commuters at London's busy Victoria station.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) UNIDENTIFIED MAN, SAYING:

"Well it's stuff you don't see everyday, you know, a guy inside a vending machine. I mean you should put it in every station, you should put it in every train in fact."

The dispenser was set up for Kit Kat's "working like a machine" publicity campaign.

Nestle's popular chocolate-wafer bar's slogan is: 'Have a break, have a Kit Kat'

Brought over from Japan to the UK, Kit Kat's Mark Simester said the campaign was about encouraging people to take a break from the mundane and monotonous nature of everyday life.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) KITKAT MARKETING MANAGER, MARK SIMESTER, SAYING:

"It's recognising that people are basically getting overwhelmed by the monotony of their day-to-day lives and more than ever in the brand's history people really need a break. So what we've decided to do is to have a campaign that depicts people working almost like machines."

Meanwhile, the man-in-the-machine was eating up the attention.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) HUMAN VENDING MACHINE VENDOR, DAVID CROWLEY SAYING:

"I've never had my photo take so many times. Everybody is just huddling around it taking pictures."

It goes to show there are still plenty of us who need little encouragement to take a break from the old routine.

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