The CAPTCHA is dead, long live PlayCaptcha

By: October 10, 2013
Web users play a simple game rather than try and decode impossible-to-read 'words' to get into protected sites Web users play a simple game rather than try and decode impossible-to-read 'words' to get into protected sites

Future Ad Labs, a UK ad company, has created PlayCaptcha – a service that creates interactive advertising mini games, instead of the boring and unreadable CAPTCHAs.

For example, Future Ad Labs developed a PlayCaptcha for Heinz that invites visitors to pour a virtual bottle of Salad Cream onto a sandwich, instead of being forced to decipher hard-to-read text. At least 300 million CAPTCHAs are completed daily, which equates to 150,000 human hours wasted every day*.

Heinz and Reckitt Benckiser have been confirmed as launch partners. “[With] PlayCaptcha, we aim to deliver a fun and engaging experience for our consumers, while also increasing brand sentiment,” says Ian McCarthy at Heinz.

Early research between June and July 2013 conducted by Vizeum in collaboration with Future Ad Labs and Heinz, shows more than 9 out of 10 respondents (91%) found PlayCaptcha to be a better user experience than standard word-based CAPTCHAs, with another 9 out of 10 users (90%) recalling the Heinz product following the completion of the task.

“We identified early on that this could be an important format for the future and were very keen to get Heinz involved,” says McCarthy.

PlayCaptcha now seems kind of obvious. It’s simple, it adds another layer for brands to engage with consumers online and it doesn’t annoy people (unlike traditional pop up ads & CAPTCHAs).


About Future Ad Labs
Future Ad Labs is a UK company based in London’s tech city. It is one of six companies taking part in the BBC Worldwide Labs and The Bakery programs, and is winner of the ‘Hot Company of the Year’ award at both Festival of Media Global and Festival of Media Asia 2013. The team is formed of scientists, engineers, and gaming experts, who joined forces to “bring better advertising formats and improved user experience to the digital world”.

*Source Scientific American