The Escape Machine

Travel based marketing campaigns are only too happy to supply consumers with images of far-flung destinations and glorious shots of poolside relaxation. Pushing our want buttons is easy enough when it comes to holidays, however, positioning the feeling of escapism a holiday provides is another thing entirely.

French travel company Voyages-SNCF has managed to get somewhere close to uncovering the joy of escapism with a new innovative street level campaign in Paris.

Appealing to the curious, the brand placed a mysterious black box onto the street with a giant red button on the front, just dying to be pressed. On doing so the participant was greeted with the following message: “Welcome, I am the escape machine. If you could leave right now, where would you go?”

Once the person involved plucked up the courage to tell the black box their preferred destination, it would flash on screen as the box unfolded in a fanfare of fireworks, inflatables, hugs and people dressed as big read lips who would kiss the user.

The campaign is reminiscent of the Coca-Cola Happiness Machine, and like its counterpart offers those involved a momentary blast of creativity and joy at the heart of their average day. The scale of the surprise is key here, delivering enough shock value to involve a much broader audience than one person, as is the inbuilt human condition to press buttons regardless of the consequence.

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