Admusements is a site of games and puzzles designed to promote advertisers' logos or products - interactive advertising. This creates a unique situation where the ads become the content. Conventionally, the number of ads on a site is limited. Here, more ads attract more people which attract more ads, etc.
Admusements offers high quality advertising by enticing people to spend more time with the advertiser's product and get to know the product by playing the game. For example, on the prototype site there is a "Dial-a-Dell" game where you see how fast you can click Dell Computer's phone number. The slogan reads, "See how fast you can dial Dell 1-800-213-3355 ... and that's how fast you can get a great computer."
The Dell game accomplishes three important things. One: it explains Dell's business that you can get a computer by simply calling them - no computer shop markups. Two: thousands of people will remember Dell's number. Three: they associate Dell with having fun and being innovative in their marketing.
The Admusement may be created specifically for a product. An example is the Dial-a-Dell game. Or the Admusement could be a modification of an existing game, for instance, instead of BINGO use DRAINO. Finally a traditional game may simply be sponsored: "The Chapter's Bookstore Crossword Puzzle."
The site will promote the advancement of technology by using Shockwave. Millions of people already use the Shockwave plugin for Navigator, AOL, and Internet Explorer. On the site is a link to download the plugin. The chance to play games and puzzles based of famous products will certainly be an incentive to install Shockwave. The size of the Admusements are small. The Dell game is less than 5K.
The interactivity that Shockwave brings to the web is incredible and far ahead of standard HTML pages. Imagine the Pizza-Pizza game where you have a round table with a checkered tablecloth. The object of the game is to cover the table with 8 pizzas, each having the Pizza-Pizza logo. You get to place a pizza on the table but once you put it down, it cannot be moved. This is a modification of the old fair game where you try and cover a large disk by dropping smaller ones on it. It is not easy and the player has the added delight of dragging things around on a usually static HTML page. Shockwave also handles streaming audio so we could have a "Name that Classical Tune" sponsored by Warner Music.
Ideally, an Admusement will live on the strength of its initial design, so little maintenance will provide endless amusement and income. We can consider Admusements that require upkeep like a crossword puzzle but they may not be necessary. Contests can be used to help draw people to the site and fuel excitement but these also should not be required. If the Admusement is good, the advertiser's brand will be as popular as Tic-Tac-Toe.
Dan Zen - Spring 1996