"With the cost of producing and airing commercials so astronomically high, and with so many real products and real services in your offerings, what’s the point of selling flashy impossibilities? Or is that indeed the point? It strikes me that these ads are (in spite of their cost) a relatively cheap way to get a foot in the door."
10/30/01 update: I had forgotten to post it here: Heiko Hebig let me know that some soft drink vending machines do accept wireless payments, as seen in Hong-Kong. Heiko gave me more details:
"Similar machines are in place in Scandinavia and on some German airports they were installed for trial periods. I tried the machine in Hong Kong and I think the main advantage is that you neither need coins (good for traveling) nor need to have a credit or debit card (good for teenagers)."