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Brands breaking new ground in experiential marketing and gamification (especially in pee-time)

By / / In Case Studies /
One small division of the marketing and advertising industry is defying the ongoing recession . . . in fact, you might say it is flushed with success.
marketing gamification

The gamification and experimental marketing sector is expected to be worth nearly a quarter of a billion dollars by year-end as awareness grows about the benefits of using games to nudge behaviour . . . in all sorts of places.

Captive Media is the creator of the world’s first pee-controlled video games – the ones now being seen in some Gents’ lavatories. The firm’s products are helping brands engage with consumers in a unique way by turning the time men usually spend staring at a washroom wall into a truly ‘captive interactive minute’.loo-game-web

Founded by Gordon MacSween and Mark Melford, both Cambridge engineering graduates, Captive Media-equipped urinals enable visitors to control what’s displayed on the video screen in front of them just by aiming left and right into the bowl beneath it. User reactions have been a mix of surprise, delight and good humour – which, in turn, has made the concept an experiential marketing hit with agencies and brands.

Ogilvy and Mather – who recently made UK-based Captive Media a partner in their ‘Future Lab’, a showcase for innovative marketing and advertising technologies – is an enthusiastic supporter of the ground-breaking technology.

Will Harvey, head of Ogilvy Future Labs in the UK, said: “Consumers engage with brands all the time now and it is important to find innovative ways to do that. “Captive Media does just that. When we showcase it first-hand to clients, the reactions are fantastic. The technology allows brands to engage with consumers in a fun and playful and hence extremely memorable way.”

The patented technology took more than three years to perfect. See how it works here. The world’s first interactive urinal games appeared in The Exhibit bar in Balham last November. Captive Media is rolling out to selected venues in the UK, Ireland, France, Spain and other countries this year.

Engaging gamification

But the engagement doesn’t end at the washroom door, with players able to post their score onto an online leader board, with embedded links to Facebook and Twitter. They’ll also be able to create their own colourful work-of-art and download it on the soon to be released ‘ArtSplash’ game.

Strategically, Captive Media is more than providing a bit of restroom fun for users.

With the buoyant gamification market predicted to soar, there’s growing awareness about the benefits of using games to nudge behaviour.

An early advertiser with Captive Media was the UK’s alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware, which commissioned an interactive quiz game featuringGamification article trivia questions interspersed with questions about alcohol use. During an eight-week trial, unprompted awareness of Drinkaware and its messages rose by 41 per cent.

This kind of impact can translate in to eye-catching sales uplifts. A test promotion for Corona Beer increased sales of the brand by 46 per cent over an eight-week period last year. More recently, Tiger Beer doubled its sales share in a London test venue. Heineken and Pepsi are now sponsoring further trials in London.

Captive Media director Mark Melford (pictured right), said: “Captive Media is so effective because it connects with young males in a uniquely irreverent way and at a time when they are actually receptive to a message.

“We’re all exposed to more than 600 ad messages every day of our lives now, and we simply screen them out. Captive Media makes use of a uniquely captive minute of male attention, one which is also uniquely uncluttered by other distractions.”

Author: Sally Hooton
Editor at The GMA |

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