An underwater projectile candy machine may sound like something out of kids’ fiction, but thanks to Airheads, this sugar-spitting submersible is a sweet reality. In its latest marketing campaign, the iconic candy company is sinking waterproof vending machines in community pools to help get adults off their lounge chairs and back in the water.

Tricks for treats

According to research conducted by Airheads, almost 75% of adults swim less than they did as children and 80% “long for the days when summer was about playing.” Airheads wants to change that – and hopefully get a little publicity in the process. In the campaign’s promo video, the company urges consumers to “[b]ring back the childhood fun with the help of their favorite childhood candy.” The first-of-its-kind Airheads Underwater Vending Machine is submersible up to eight feet and is equipped with an “air-powered propulsion system” – meaning candy is delivered faster than you can say sugar coma.  Since water presents some challenges for cash payment, the machine asks swimmers to “pay with fun,” suggesting options such as “Do a flip,” “Have a tea party,” and “Do the robot,” as acceptable methods of payment. Craig Cuchra, Airheads’ VP of Marketing recently commented:

“Our Underwater Vending Machine is sure to get adults excited about jumping back in the pool and re-living the carefree long summer days… So many people have nostalgic memories of savoring Airheads at the pool on a hot day and we want to bring this feeling back, and with a fun twist.”

See how it works for yourself:

For more fun, add water

While the campaign may seem like a novel concept, Airheads isn’t the first brand to take things underwater in order to boost consumer engagement. Back in 2022, Carlsberg beverage company sunk an entire bar to the bottom of the ocean to promote its line of non-alcoholic beers. So far, Airheads’ underwater initiative has garnered significant interest. On Memorial Day, the company released a limited number of these bizarre candy-launchers for sale to the public. For a mere $7000, consumers were able to purchase their very own Airheads vending machine AND receive a lifetime supply of candy. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to us – and everyone else apparently, as Airheads’ microsite for the campaign now displays the following message:

“The Underwater Vending Machine is sold out. But that doesn’t mean the summer fun stops here. Lather up the sun screen, grab your shades and don’t forget your Airheads – the pool awaits.”

If you’re one of the unfortunate few who wanted your own underwater vending machine but didn’t whip out your credit card fast enough, don’t worry. You can still purchase some consolation merch at the Airheads Summer website.