Interactive Koodo ad at Peel metro
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.
A user interacts with a Koodo ad at Berri-UQAM metro station
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.)
Unexpected click gives a 404 error
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.
Closeup of Koodo ad 404 error
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.