Would you play with the IronPigs’ Urinal Games?
OK — now that the obligatory potty humor is out of the way:
According to the local Morning Call, each of the four men’s bathrooms in Coca-Cola Park will have one game console installed over a urinal. To play the games, a patron must step up to the urinal and activate the motion sensors with his stream. Your stream is literally the control mechanism for the game and will be used to control your skier as he traverses down a mountain and hits penguins to score points.
Captive Media, the British agency that came up with the system, claim that each game lasts an average of 55 seconds.
After finishing the game, the patron can then get a unique code to report their score to a leaderboard via their smartphone and see the leaderboards on real time displays throughout the stadium.
Ed Gundrum, a spokesperson from Captive Media, stated that these urinal games create a perfect vehicle for advertising and is easily capable of breaking even and making a profit.
The most compelling use-case for the adver-gaming system so far has been Lehigh Valley Hospital’s marketing campaigns to raise awareness for urological disorders like prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction. Dr. Angelo A. Baccala Jr., chief of the division of urology, stated that playing these games allow these issues to be placed in an easier light, especially when the topic at hand is well, literally in your hands in the bathroom.
If you watched the brief video above, you’ll see that the penguin game leaves much to be desired and have little to do with the marketing messages desired by IronPig and the Lehigh Valley Hospital for that matter. The game as it stands, is just a vehicle for a novel way for people to perceive ads.
There are many opportunities to thematically tie these games into the IronPigs’ marketing goals. Some easy ones come to mind:
- Ditch the skier and make the same game but with the team mascot as the player’s avatar. Bonus: replace the penguins with the opposing team’s mascot for an additional team-morale boost.
- Design the game thematically around a sponsor’s message for more advertising opportunites and the ability to ditch regular static/video ads altogether.
- Invest in games for every urinal to make it a more “social” experience. Obviously it is taboo in the bathroom to speak to your neighbor but it would be interesting to allow other patrons to bet on the performance of the one playing the penguin game or to even have different sides of the bathroom compete against one another. This will provide an even more memorable experience and more outlets for different advertising opportunities.
The biggest flaw right now is the fact that the game will not work in women’s bathrooms. As an alternative, women have the option of watching the men play while they are in their stalls. It’s a poor alternative but thinking about how these control mechanics will work for women is territory I think am unqualified to consider as a man. If sanitary problems weren’t an issue in the bathroom, the betting mechanic mentioned earlier would be a great idea with touch screens.
So what do you think? Is there real opportunity to gamify the bathroom experience? Is it something we even want? And could it actually…be more social?