It’s not often that something makes us say “Wow” or “Why didn’t we think of that?” Especially when the idea seems like it could have originated here at Centric Digital, and it represents not only a great business idea, but a great digital strategy.

We all hate trying to figure out those silly little CAPTCHA codes just to validate that we are a carbon-based life form — and it seems like they’re always getting harder to figure out. It’s reported that 300 million CAPTCHAs are completed globally every day. (I wonder how many are abandoned for being too hard to read?) So when we hear of a company that is addressing a digital trend and consumer pain point with a solid digital strategy that mixes gamification and brand-supported ad revenues… we get excited.

Future Ad Labs is turning those CAPTHCHAs into Mini-Games — AND Ad Revenue to boot. The concept is actually quite simple. (Again – how did we not think of this?) Instead of making us take wild guesses at what we think we see, how about allowing us to engage and play? After all, the value of a CAPTCHA is to verify that we humans and not some nefarious bot. It turns out that this same end can be met with a much different strategy that also creates an opportunity to generate revenue. The mini-games (mini-apps are a digital trend we are tracking here at Centric Digital) are branded and can be as simple as moving a slider to simulate unwrapping a candy bar. That candy bar is a sponsored ad unit and affords the brand a brief and pleasant interaction with the consumer.

PlayCaptcha - Heinz Salad Cream

Future Ad Labs has raised some capital and appears to be well on its way to enhancing the product and generating ad revenue. And yes, we know that there are others working in this space, like our neighbors here in NYC Solve Media and Are You A Human. I guess it just didn’t occur to us how great a digital strategy this was until someone framed it as a mini-game. THAT has us thinking about all the other applications for minis: mini-games in health apps that make healthy choices fun, or mini enterprise apps that do one or two things really well and sit inside a corporate folder or wrapper app (not everyone in the enterprise needs everything.) They say “bigger is better”, but when it comes to addressing certain pain points, maybe mini can be major.