Literacy Vending Machine

Treat-filled vending machines can be a source of controversy – especially when placed in schools – but there’s no way anyone could argue against the socially nutritious stunt campaign by Quebec’s Fondation pour l’alphabetisation (Literacy Foundation) in Montreal.

Created and carried out by Montreal-based agency Bleublancrouge, the novel stunt places vending machines in various locations in Montreal. But instead of dropping chips and pop into people’s hands, the machine distributes packets of words, courtesy of the non-profit.

The idea is to buy words for people who can’t read them. When you buy a word to support literacy efforts, the money that you contribute goes towards the foundation to fund programs.

Justin Kingsley, VP special operations, Bleublancrouge

The Mots Depot vending machine is one element of a much larger literacy campaign underway, which includes website, TV and radio spots, t-shirts, subversive newspaper classified ads and Facebook app.

It’s a real 2.0 campaign: a combination of web, word of mouth and every means of communication at your disposal to get the message out that you can help people use words when you buy words.