The next Spectacles vending machine location is on again, with a little under 24 hours to go as of this writing on Monday morning. The next location is still a secret, of course, but the first two have been LA and Big Sur in that order, so there’s precedent for both a big city or a small town scenic spot.
Snapchat’s launch strategy with the Spectacles, a pair of video-capturing sunglasses and its first hardware product, has been heavy on the hype – one bystander at the most recent Big Sur pop-up Snapbot vending machine locale overheard someone from the Snapchat side describe it unabashedly as “viral marketing.” But just because it’s hype-heavy doesn’t mean it isn’t also successful, and smart.
The whole approach to Spectacles has been light and breezy, at least to all outward appearances, with the company treating the whole thing as a toy. Its Twitter account has been RT-ing insults and praise alike, and everything about the launch, the vending machine sales and its reception has kept up the good times vibe, with an IDGAF undertone that fits pretty perfectly with Snapchat’s existing brand identity.
On launch day last week in downtown LA, there were plenty of Spectacles to go around, but then at the second location in Big Sur the machine sold out quickly and wasn’t restocked, unfortunately. The smaller launches, which seem to involve getting people out of the house and to scenic spots for a little adventure, will probably be the model going forward if I had to guess, with smaller batches sold overall. There was some disappointment when they sold out at Big Sur, but again maybe because of how they approached the launch overall, a lot less than you might expect if this was done, by, say Apple with a new product launch.
Tomorrow at 8 AM ET (5 AM PT) we’ll find out where the Snapbot is headed next. Maybe the first east coast location, given the slightly earlier reveal? We’ll see, but in the meantime maybe make sure you have a full tank of gas.