Another Tyrannical Vending Machine Barks Orders at People

Brits get a laugh, and free coffee

It seems confirmed without a doubt: Humans enjoy being told what to do by vending machines. Last month, we saw Australians literally bowing down before the almighty Fantastic Delites machine. Now, we see Leo Burnett in London created something similar for Kenco Millicano coffee, setting up a talking vending machine in Soho Square that cajoles, badgers and generally annoys passersby into doing physical chores in exchange for free coffee. The video, of course, shows people being intensely amused by "Kenneth," voiced by a comedian somewhere on site. ("Great coffee speaks for itself," says the line at the end.) Kenneth is less sadistic than the silent but insistent Fantastic Delites machine, and so his antics don't have quite the same social-experiment factor. These latest efforts follow Coca-Cola's well-known happiness-dispensing vending machines. It's hard to know which people prefer—machines that flatter them or abuse them. Perhaps a little of both.