Loyal readers, you know I would not mislead you. We like marketing, and we like the absurd. If you like these combined, I’ve just found the GREATEST BLOG EVER. I don’t want to oversell it, so here we go. Translated, the name of the blog is:
Terada Ikeda (ごめん！） of Sapporo, Hokkaido has been taking a picture of the same Coca-Cola vending machine nearly every day for over two years, and intensely documenting the changes. While I laughed off the premise immediately, I soon became hooked. Not only does he take daily photos, but he compares the photos to the previous year and draws John Madden-worthy diagrams explaining the daily changes. The addition of new products, stickers, and marketing gimmicks are all there in clear detail.
Every product is listed in its precise position (A4, B12, etc), along with its size and weight, and he even manages to keep up with the label changes from the beverage makers themselves. It’s incredible dedication and, for me, actually quite useful and insightful.
Terada Ikeda-san, we can now gauge the general time when the vending machines add the “hot” function for wintertime beverages (after the second week of October). His blog notes also reveal a bit of nostalgia for 2005 when he laments that it now “has too many stickers”. When he’s busy or goes on a business trip, his wife takes the photos for him, so we never go long without an update. On his Flickr page he also shows his love for the Coke machines he finds on the road.
Japan is full of vending machines, and we all take them for granted. Even Mount Fuji has one up there (so I’ve heard), and you’d be hard-pressed to walk more than thirty feet before finding one in an urban area. Someone fills them up, moves pieces around, slaps on stickers, and adjusts the temperature, but all we do is pop in some money and move on. These machines evolve and change with the seasons, payment systems, and marketing from the beverage makers. They are just as much a store as any 7-11.
The sub-heading of
Terada Ikeda-san’s blog is “If you don’t have any bread, isn’t it good to drink cola?”. I’m not quite sure…the Royal Milk Tea in B05 looks pretty good.
Found in the September print edition of Henshukaigi