Sphero Gumball Machine | The Pineapple Agency
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Sphero Gumball Machine


Back in 2011, robot enthusiasts and hackers Ian Bernstein and Adam Wilson created an app-controlled robotic ball called “Sphero”. Since then, Sphero has evolved into a full gaming and entertainment system, merging education and entertainment by teaching kids how to write basic code and bringing joy to tech enthusiasts of all ages.

When the team at Sphero asked us to help them bring their brand to life for the Black Friday weekend, we wanted to add to the sense of childhood wonder that comes from playing with Sphero and evoke feelings of youth, playfulness, and fun.

The Challenge

Create an experience that showcases Sphero, produces impressions, boosts sales, and evokes an unforgettable sense of childhood wonder for attendees – all with less than 3 weeks of notice.


For Black Friday, it’s go big or go home. So we called up the biggest mall in the nation: Mall of America. We were able to secure an event space during the busiest weekend of the year (over 200,000 people visit the mall during Black Friday alone).

We set our custom built, 8-foot, 400-pound gumball machine next to an obstacle course and some Sphero-trained brand ambassadors and watched the magic happen. Kids, parents, and the young at heart all lined up to have a chance with the robot. At some points, the booth got so busy that we had to make people take turns!

Our client said they were looking for a great experience that would generate impressions, and give people a chance to play with Sphero. Well, impressions they got. We estimate that over 30,000 people not only saw the machine, but showed visible indication of interest in the product. In addition, approximately 9,000 people got to watch or play with Sphero on our track. And as for the sales? We blew away anticipated sales numbers, exceeding them by a factor of 8. Looks like Santa’s going to have a lot of robots in his sack this Christmas.