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Jun 24, 2008


iain tait

I know what you're saying. But leave it on :-)

If you go to the playballoonacy site and log in you can set the race to be minimized on your page by default. Then only balloon racers see the balloons unless others choose to expand it.

That should solve your issue :-)

Whether it should be open or closed by default was a big talking point... As you might imagine.


Hello! just ballooned here, i think it's pretty funny activity to run in the background.


Iain - yeah I'm sure. And no right or wrong answer, eh?


You've got too much time on your hands, Ben. Spending hours playing with balloons on the Rainbows [sic] End website (and I hope they're paying Disney royalties on that mouse). Cmon.

And, as for what I think about balloons: I'm an Orange customer. Enough said.

Loïc Boyer

I don't see any baloons on your site. Unless I click on button, wich I can't even find right now.
Anyway, to me this is one of the "impossible" games to win. I'm like 1000th on the race, I don't know how I could be in the 10 firsts - unless if I play whole day long, haem.
But it's fun as long as it's 20 seconds a day.


Glad you posted this as I'm in the same boat, wondering how annoying it is for people. Might try minimising it like Iain suggests. The key thing for me is like you say, I've never seen anything like it before. So that's brilliant. My main beef is with the balloonacy website, not clunky, just a bit too flash for its own good. Will be interested to see what people think (and david has made his position clear...).


I like it. Just because it's so different. I haven't found the balloons annoying at all, okay my Miss Pinkie balloon isn't winning but no great shakes. I'm an Orange customer as well David, and this is engaging me more than any other brand I'm loyal to at the moment!
To me its a pencil.

Dan Bye

I'm with Iain on this one (well i would be wouldnt i really).

When we were coming up with the campaign we wanted to distribute it as widely as possible but the last thing that we wanted for it to be so disruptive that it put people off, hence being able to run it minimised.

It's great that it is provoking debate though and i'm glad that people are enjoying it.

There are daily prizes as well (look out for the stars) and even if you are running 20,000th there are still chance to win


Dan from Orange

charlie gower

I've gotta say I'm leaning to the dark side with this one.
great idea. Browser based games are a sweet idea and browser based networking is only a stones-throw away. And the idea itself - ballooning across cyberspace - love that too.

But for me it's a bit too clunky. Many many times when I try to locate my balloon the site it's sitting on doesn't load up the balloons and I have to go back and try again and again. Also I have boosted about 20 people and I think I have been boosted maybe twice.
Gameplay flaw? Or my bad luck?
so no, not taking part anymore.


Really really annoying. After coming back to NDG a couple of times to find a bunch of adverts floating across the screen, I thought to myself "maybe I'll just not come back here for a few weeks, when it's done".

If I wanted to go to the Orange website, I'd type in the Orange URL. As fun as it is for you to play, to everyone else it's just another big annoying pop-up, and one that doesn't make much sense unless you spend time reading about it.



Dan Bye? Is that a name or a valediction?


I love the idea and its pattern aggregation potential and agree with you about the design. What I'm less sure about is what it does for Orange and user longevity and, in that regard, how forgiving users are of its "understandable clunkiness".

Tom Harle

I had a friend in school called Dan Bye. He doesn't work for Orange though

Brad Brooks

Really, really, REALLY fecking annoying. Not only that, but it's Orange who are bastards of the first water.

Alistair Hall

I don't see any tangible value to it for the blogs / sites hosting it.

I stuck it on my site originally, but realised that since absolutely anyone could put in on their sites, there's no sense of exclusivity to it. When people play, it's a total lucky dip as to which sites they travel across - so for the person running the site, the chances of it creating repeat visitors for them is really low. Plus, when I've played it, I've had bugger all inclination to click down into the sites the balloons are travelling across.

It's clever tech, but to little purpose. It boils down to: can you click on a slow moving icon on a screen a few times. Low levels of joy. Compare that to some utterly addictive webgames... like http://games.sticky.tv/cyrkam_airtos/ or http://www.yetisports.org/

From a larger point of view, Orange's whole campaign of using animals to represent different user groups is just annoying. I don't want to be a particular type - I just want to pay a set amount each month for my calls, texts and browsing. And if I go over or under my expected usage, I want them to automatically change my tariff. I shouldn't need a spreadsheet to work out which deal from which provider is best; nor should I have to work out if I'm a dolphin or a camel.

Gosh. That was a bit of rant. Apologies.


seeing as i'm reading most of my blogs (including this one) through my reader and i don't see any balloons, the only annoying thing is that everyone on twitter is going on about it. but other than that, it's great! i can imagine it might get bloody annoying bloody quickly though.


Thanks people. All good stuff.

I've followed Iain's advice and minimised it for now. I didn't realise you could do that. My bad as I'd say if I lived in Santa Monica.

Opinion seems divided eh?

I've been playing a little bit today. Still enjoying it. Still impressed by the tech and the graphics. Feel better now it's minimised.

Mike Reed

Bit late to the party, although I have been ranting and raving on David's blog.

This just seems to me to be a way to experiment and show off with technology, rather than add any value to people's experience of Orange.

There's no doubt that the game is technically very clever and totally unique. But it does just seem like yet another way to waste your time online.

As an Orange customer I'm also sick of seeing all these cutesy promo things when they can't get my phone right. It's as if they're trying to stop being a phone brand to become some sort of entertainment channel. Maybe they are.

I have a feeling that the brief to Poke was something like: "Our dolphin-platypus-dromedary-elk tariff system is a dead duck. Please do something spectacular to save it from itself. We are desperate. Here is a lot of money."

I may be completely wrong, of course. And at least Poke did something original, unlike Fallon, who just made an animal-balloon version of their Sony ads.

Okay, that's it. I promise to shut up now.


Page takeovers are the internet's answer to telesales cold calls. Disruptive, unwelcome and generally they have the opposite effect of their intention.

Loïc Boyer

Now that it's over I have to add another comment, after I've been playing a bit more in the last days.
Running from 2000th to almost 400th in twenty-four hours is quite an experience, and what I have to say is that the places you cross are so various it's amazing.
It's like a trip into the real world of the websites.
Some are beautiful, some are stupid, some are strange, some are smart, and most of them, I would not even imagine they could exist if it wasn't for the race.
You don't see all these designs in any web design review, the panorama here was much more exciting, even if most of the things I saw are not gonna be models of design (loads of crap) but this dive into the “real“ internet was really something.


Yes Loic I think I agree with that.

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