Airheads made an underwater vending machine to get adults back in the pool this summer

Highdive dreamed up the machine, which takes ‘fun’ as payment instead of money

Published On
May 23, 2024

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Here’s an impressive bit of aquatic engineering: an underwater vending machine that uses an air propulsion system to dispense Airheads, and asks for play instead of money for payment.

Why create such a thing? Good question. Airheads maker Perfetti Van Melle said the Highdive campaign is aimed at adults, not kids, with the lapsed audience of 18- to 34-year-olds who ate Airheads as kids representing a growth opportunity for the brand. The vending machine is a way of engaging with these adults. A recent survey suggested nearly three-quarters of adults don’t swim as much as they did when they were kids—thus, the vending machine is a way to get them back in the water. (These same adults have fond memories of loving Airheads as kids, so it’s a nostalgia play, too.)

A man interacting with the vending machine under water

They’ve actually made some of these bad boys, as well. A limited number of Airheads Underwater Vending Machines will go on sale on Memorial Day (May 27), the official start of “pool season,” while supplies last at AirheadsSummer.com. They will set you back $7,000.

The vending machine is fully waterproof up to eight feet and comes with the aforementioned air propulsion candy launcher. Rather than accepting cash, it doles out product when you perform “fun” tasks as prompted by the machine. (Good practice for our future AI overlords.)

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“Our Underwater Vending Machine is sure to get adults excited about jumping back in the pool and re-living the carefree long summer days,” said Craig Cuchra, VP of marketing at Perfetti Van Melle. “So many people have nostalgic memories of savoring Airheads at the pool on a hot day, and we want to bring this feeling back—with a fun twist.”

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