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Unhappy Boston
Unhappy Boston

The first time I stopped by to check on the Taza interactive display, two college-age kids were playing with their phones next to the counter. They said they were from MIT.

After a few minutes, the paper granite stone spun, and they high-fived each other.

This gave me a sense of hope.

A false sense of hope, it turns out. Because very few people engaged with the device over the next few weeks:

  • Not when I took advantage of a Google Adwords promotion and used a coupon code to purchase $100 worth of Google Adwords. 
  • Not when I promoted a Twitter post about the game. 
  • Not when I promoted a similar Facebook post. 

Was I way out of my league? Apparently I didn't understand game design, retail marketing, or online advertising. 

I felt like one of the felled Colonists in my Fun Pak (above).

It didn't get any better. About a month after I dropped off a starter supply of twenty Fun Paks, I stopped by the Taza Chocolate Bar to check how many they had left.

"I’ve got just three here," the helpful young woman at the Taza counter said, rummaging around. 

I made a quick mental calculation: Around 17 Fun Paks distributed? Not bad!

"Oh wait," she suddenly said. "Here’s another stash of them."

She started counting them out: 1, 2, 3... to 16.

So... one (1) claimed? And, realistically, that could be somewhere, misplaced, under the counter.

What's going wrong?

A Game -- with Prizes

Next - A Smartphone Reality Check