Urine-controlled video games offer a new revenue stream for marketers

A British company is offering marketers a new revenue stream: urine-controlled video games.

Yes, I know it’s April Fools’ Day, but this is no joke.

Captive Media has created what it calls “the world’s first p-controlled video game.”

The Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies, recently announced plans to install the games in urinals at their home field, Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pa.  The team claims it’s the first-ever installation at a sports venue; until now, the urinal games have been found mainly in bars.

Captive advertising has been around for decades. The genre includes ads on buses and subway cars as well as ads shown in a theater before the start of a movie. The ads you hear while you’re on hold with your credit card company are examples of captive advertising.

More recently, as we moved into the video age, we got marketing messages on gas pumps and in elevators.

Bathroom advertising is a relatively new innovation, but it’s been around long enough to spawn its own industry group: the Indoor Billboard Advertising Association. According to the IBAA, restroom advertising reaches an affluent, desirable, 21- to 35-year-old demographic.

Bathroom advertising is catching on in China, where marketers flash ad messages on small LED screens embedded into mirrors.

But video games activated by a stream of urine? That’s a new frontier.

The IronPigs are promising a fully interactive experience. Fans can enter a code that will allow their urinal-game scores to be posted on an online leader board and displayed on the big screen at the ballpark. The games are sponsored by the Lehigh Valley Health Network, which says it aims to raise awareness of prostate health.

Let’s just hope the guy next to you at the Allentown ballpark maintains his aim after a few Yuenglings.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by Beth-Ann Bloom on 04/01/2013 - 08:42 am.

    Please tell me this is MinnPost’s April Fools’ joke!

  2. Submitted by Ross Willits on 04/01/2013 - 02:11 pm.

    “Fully Immersive”

    I, for one, do not look forward to a “fully immersive” p-controlled game.

  3. Submitted by Todd Hintz on 04/01/2013 - 02:36 pm.


    Good god, I hope this is an Onion article! If not, my inclination would be to aim a little high if I encountered one of these urinals and see if I could “improve” the electronics.

  4. Submitted by John Reinan on 04/01/2013 - 02:47 pm.

    It’s no joke

    Says the author: Not an Onion story, not an April Fool’s gag. These have been in use in British pubs for several years now.

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