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Tokyo Trains Try Out NFC Advertising

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Photo: k-tai.impress.co.jp

A while ago we wrote about a concept game design that conceived to integrate games into the straps that passengers grip while standing on trains. And while that sort of thing might be a while off, a company in Tokyo is currently testing out a way to advertise with these straps using NFC.

Shunkosha currently has FeliCa NFC-enabled straps installed on the Ginza and Marunouchi train lines for a trial period which started yesterday, and will extend to June 3rd. Users simply need to touch their phone [1] and obtain the embedded URL for the website being promoted by the ad campaign. For now, the travel agency HIS will be the advertiser in this initial phase.

It looks to be a process marginally easier than scanning a QR code, although I wonder how many people will actually use it after the novelty has worn off.

I still think that gaming might be a better way to advertise to people than by sending them to a URL. Perhaps some kind of real-life card collection game, where you can only obtain certain cards in specific locations as with the Japanese location-based game Colopl.

That would certainly be something I’d like to see the Japanese Tourism Agency get behind, for domestic tourists as well as those from overseas, especially Korea and China.

In any case, if you’re on the Ginza or Marunouchi lines in the next week or so, be sure to check out these new strap ads, and let us know what you think.

Shunkosha (pdf) via Wireless Watch


  1. For supported phones with NFC functions only of course. iOS users are out of luck.  ↩


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