Last weekend, some metro station platform ads were replaced by a television screen inviting people to “train” with some Koodo-branded games. Koodo, you’ll recall, is the Telus-owned “discount” cellphone service which competes with Rogers’s Fido and Bell’s Solo Mobile services. It unexplicably uses cheesy 80s workout clichés as the basis for its branding.
Lo and behold, it worked. People on a metro platform waiting for a train are a notoriously bored bunch (even if they’re in a hurry). Shiny things with buttons will quickly find people willing to press them.
Unfortunately, the games themselves weren’t that good. In fact, one wasn’t even a game, it was just a menu filled with information about Koodo’s cellphone plans. The only actual “game” is a Where’s Waldo-style search game that requires the user to “scroll” through the map because it doesn’t all fit on the screen.
The game had clearly not been usability tested, because I couldn’t figure out how the scrolling worked. Tapping near the corner caused it to slowly scroll in that direction by about an inch. Dragging a finger toward the corner caused the screen to quickly scroll in that direction and then quickly scroll back. Dragging a finger away from the corner caused about the same thing to happen. (UPDATE Aug. 27: I’m not the only one to notice this failure.)
I’m not quite sure how I did this, but I somehow created a new tab in Internet Explorer (which this apparently runs on) and sent it to a page which doesn’t exist.
So apparently these ads are running on Windows servers using a two-year-old version of the Apache web server. (On the plus side, the system resets itself after a minute or two of inactivity)
I have to give Koodo credit for this one. After all, I’m blogging about it, which was the point. But it doesn’t make me want to get a Koodo phone plan any more.