A Minneapolis Agency Created a Snowball Vending Machine for Super Bowl Attendees

Space150 hand-packed hundreds of them

Space150, a Minneapolis-based agency, refurbished a vending machine to sell snowballs for a nonprofit during Super Bowl weekend. Space150
Headshot of Marty Swant

As visitors attend today’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, one hometown ad agency is giving people a chance to head home from the land of ice and “Minnesota nice”—their very own snowball.

This weekend, Space150 has deployed its own snowball vending machine about 15-minutes away from the site of Super Bowl LII, hand-packing hundreds of frozen keepsakes that have each been placed inside customized canisters that proudly displays the exact date of its creation.

The vending machine—similar in color to any of the state’s 10,000 frozen lakes—is big enough to hold 500 snowballs and proudly boasts that each snowball is “hand-packed by real Minnesotans.” It also encourages customers to “take one home” and “throw it at a friend.”

“Ultimately we were looking to find something that celebrates the region and that celebrates the fact that six or seven months out of the year here it’s pretty cold and there’s something cool about that,” said Space150 Chief Creative Officer Brock Davis, who packed at least 55 of them himself. “There’s a pride in our tundra.”

Indeed, it’s a cold weekend in Minnesota, a state that’s recently rebranded itself as the “Bold North” for the big game. The temperature for today is expected to have a high of 6 degrees with a low of negative 1. (Davis said Space150 had also thought about coming up with a way to turn smartphones into hand warmers, but upon further investigation there were some “logistical hurdles” to making it happen.)

However, Davis said the cold is something that true Minnesotans—including this Adweek writer—embrace as both heritage and as a “catalyst for creativity.”

Anyone in the Twin Cities this weekend will be able to swing by and buy one with cash, credit card or Apple Pay until they run out. Snowballs are being sold for $1, with all funds going to Wilderness Inquiry, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that helps kids from urban areas explore the great outdoors.

Davis joked that the snowballs are souvenirs of the region—just like someone might want a lava rock while visiting a volcano in Hawaii. He said each canister—repurposed tennis ball cans—is sealed with just a few ounces of water making them airline compliant.

“You can sit it on your mantelpiece and watch it melt,” he said.

@martyswant martin.swant@adweek.com Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.