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Leslie’s Weird Artifact Find
January 22, 2008, 6:22 pm
Filed under: 2008

Gee Whiz, Here’s the Wizmark

I discovered this in October 2004…

Just what you need to read about with your morning coffee; the Ottawa Citizen’s Business Section of October 1, 2004 featured an article by Aron Heller titled: “Urine the know: Molson pioneers ads via ‘interactive urinal communicator.’

According to Heller, the Wizmark is alive and thriving in Quebec, with its adoption by Molson to market their new beer brand – the Molson Dry Coldshot 6.5. It’s in over 100 bars and nightclubs in Quebec, half of them in Montreal. Fieldwork anyone? Here’s the description from Heller:“So far the messages are only available in French, but when a patron steps up to the urinal he hears the sound of a siren followed by the message: ‘The cold shot of Molson Dry at 6.5 % of alcohol – it’s legal.”

The whizmark is the size of a hockey puck. There’s a microprocessor built into it; it triggers a pre-recorded announced upon ‘motion’. Richard Deutsch, the director of Healthquest Technologies Inc which developed the product, boasts about its efficacy: “There is really no better time to get a connection to a guy…You’ve got thirty seconds to one minute of undivided attention …It’s a really captive audience…The only thing to do is look down and stare at the drain.”

The audience demographic is – what else – young males between 18-24 years of age.

“It’s a guy thing,” Deutsch concedes. In the works – “a digital totalizer in which urinating would become a competitive sport – with points gained by hitting targets”

Deutsch sees public awareness and education applications of this – safe driving, safe sex messages..

(How about: get out and vote? Stop the war?).

In the future he also envisions delivering personal messages to the urinator “Something like, ‘Hey, how’s it hanging, Fred'”, Deutsch said.

(Hmmm, gives new meaning to surveillance state)

A design for woman is in the works.

It’s hard to hold in my enthusiasm for this one…

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