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Get Your Pee-G Rated Health Tips…Here!
By: Briskman Stanfield
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As marketing keeps pace with life’s fast lane, it’s often hard to discern the real from the scripted. Many concepts often sound so bizarre we could swear Ashton Kutcher is hiding behind the nonsense. Yet even when we learn he’s not, we still feel Punk’d simply from the sting of zany reality. 

Has advertising pushed the limits? Consider this unpunk’d concoction: America’s favorite pastime mixed with mindless games and virtual health messages via ballpark virtual play urinals. Indeed, this is no April Fool’s joke, but the latest 55-second minor game within a minor game that takes place at Coca-Cola Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
 
Perhaps aiming to please the male gender, the men’s rooms have turned to fun and video games. If your jaw has dropped, push it back up; this is fact. According to Jon Schaeffer, director of new media for the Ironpigs (actual name) Baseball team in Lehigh Valley, "it’s real, and has been months in the making."
 
Video games! What man can resist? Yet in this case the games are neither Xbox nor Wii or even designed to be played in the comforts of home. This system is by Captive Media, a British company, and created for men only, to play while taking care of…ahem, "business" at the ballpark’s public restroom! 
 
Has future low-world arrived? Not according to Captive Media, who believes this is the current way to provide quick video messages with an "advertising opportunity that customers will never forget." And for the curious-minded who crave the sordid details, it works by sensors and a screen that says, "bladder up as individual steps forward." Targets are hit, points are earned, competition ensues (only after hands are washed can scores be entered with the highest shown in real time on park video screens!). Better yet…use your imagination or visit Allentown for the total experience. 
 
But whether people choose to scowl or embrace, the real deal is advertising at a new level. Captive Media charges $40–$50 a week for leasing, maintaining, and creating new video games. While touted as "easy to break even or profit on the equipment," it quickly captured the attraction of the medical world in the area for Lehigh Valley Urology Specialty Care, which will market important health messages for men.
 
On the positive side, Angelo A. Baccala Jr., the chief of the division of urology, thought it was a "really good opportunity, since many men have issues talking about these things" (mild, chronic or acute). Evening out the playing field, on an educational level Dr. Baccala hopes that by using the new gameplay, men will be more apt to open up about their health with friends and doctors (in addition to keeping the men’s room a lot tidier).
 
And while this Allentown Coca-Cola Park is the first sports arena to have the game, it has been in operation in bars and clubs in 13 countries, mostly in Europe, according to salesman Ed Gundrum. 
 
Far from boring bobbleheads, t-shirts, and beach-towel promotions, this type of advertising could bring it home. After all, playing games in the men’s room is a lot healthier than smoking in them, and this might just be the Rx the doctor ordered...if players heed the rewards of good AD-vice.


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About the Author

Briskman Stanfield is a freelance copywriter and all-around, behind-the-scenes team player.

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