National Vending Machine

by • 21 Feb, 2011 • ExpositionsComments (1)7549

Top-selling items in the National Vending Machine

One of the objectives of the National Vending Machine is to provide us and partners insight in popular historical objects. Stuff that gets people enthusiastic. In a way, we’re doing an extremely fancy kind of market research. The other day I received a provisional overview of Holland’s hottest historical objects (read: top-selling items in the machine). Here they are:

  1. Volkswagen camper van: By far the most popular object in sales, comments and enthusiasm of buyers, probably due to its everlasting hipness and important place in the youth memories of the Culturally Engaged.
  2. Cow: A replica of the famous Dutch grazer in Delftware, popular to more than just the tourists. Maybe owing to its cute smile or maybe because it’s a colourful object which boosts sales (we found when testing the objects).
  3. Cheese slicer: The representation of being Dutch (in all its meanings) and a Norwegian invention. I’ve heard the tiny slicer actually works, especially with French cheese.
  4. Compass: You’d think everybody has a smartphone with GPS by now, but this ancient TomTom is still a bestseller. The movie is my personal favourite, maybe that’s why.
  5. Delftware kissing gay couple: More pottery in the top-five, this time with a twist. If you’ve ever been to Schiphol you know the couple (heterosexual) from arrivals, but we used another edition to tell a better story.

To be honest, I would never have guessed these would turn out to be the top-selling items. As far as I can tell there’s nothing these objects have in common that distinguishes them from other less-sold ones (maybe you can tell?)

There’s a lot we’re learning from the National Vending Machine. At the moment, the machine is in our Amsterdam office in the Zuiderkerk where we’re improving a lot of the details. Come by and have a look! Also, we’ll be speaking about what we’ve learnt about engaging people with the project at Museums and the Web in Philadelphia.

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