Pongr: A Dream for Anyone Brand Loyal

If you read my blog, you know one thing about me for sure: I am extremely brand loyal.  I am brand loyal about everything from what I drink to what technology I use (cameras, phones, etc.) to even what shampoo I will use.  So when Pongr, a game that highlights brand loyalty at its best came out, I knew I had to try it out.

The purpose of Pongr is to show how people interact with a brand on a daily basis.  Everywhere you turn, you are surrounded by brands.  Pongr adds a gaming element to it and has players take pictures of themselves and others as they interact with various brands.  You are then “employed” by the particular brand and move up the ranks from intern to CEO.  They recently added more components to the game which definitely make it more challenging and exciting.  In addition to submitting pictures to the website, you must recruit others to “work” for the brand, promote the pictures you take on Facebook and Twitter and create deals that the brand could potentially use.  For example, if you send in a picture to Pongr for Android, you can get 10% off of an accessory (I think I used this when I was trying to become CEO of Android).

Every brand you can think of needs a CEO.  All you have to do is submit pictures through your phone (yes, feature phones work too which was great for me because I did not have a smart phone when Pongr first came out) or even through e-mail.  You simply send your pictures to the brand “@pongr.com.”  For example, when sending pictures to Verizon, you send it to “verizon@pongr.com.”   When sending pictures to Apple, you send it to “apple@pongr.com.”  You can even send pictures as a JPEG and attach it to an e-mail to send them in.  This way of sending pictures made it really fun for me because I could look back at old pictures of myself interacting with different brands and send them in.  It is always fun to look back at old pictures, and this time you are playing a game while doing it!

To celebrate the holidays, they decided to award a few of the newly appointed CEOs.  The first person who became CEO of a Fortune 500 company was given a $500 American Express gift card.  The person who submitted the most creative picture of their favorite pair of shoes would win free shoes.  And my favorite, the first person to become CEO of Android would receive a free Android phone.  After the death of my Droid back in September that resulted in my hatred for Blackberry (thus, the #downwithblackberry hasthtag I have been using in most of my tweets), I was determined to be reunited with Android again.

So every day since the contest was announced, I recruited others to play Pongr, sent in pictures, created deals and promoted the pictures on Twitter.  Part of the excitement of Pongr is that you never know when you will reach the position of CEO.  At the end of December, I was finally promoted to CEO and won my Android, the Droid X (which I just received a few days ago)!  Pongr has not only combined my love for brand loyalty and photography but has given me quite possibly the greatest gift possible: a Droid!

To hear more about my rise to CEO of Verizon, check out this blog post.

I recruited many people during my rise to CEO of Android.  Some of their thoughts are below!

Amy Bishop: “Some of the things I like about Pongr:

  • The ability to display and promote the brands that you support and use everyday
  • The chance to win contests and deals by just sending photos of your daily interaction with brands
  • Before my smartphone, I also loved that I could upload photos just by sending an email on a regular computer.”

Lauren Gray: “I like that you can win real prizes and submit pictures of what you are doing with the product/brand.  It’s also fun to “recruit” people because not many other geo apps have that recruitment aspect.”

Eric Mendes: “Pongr is an innovative startup that allows users to express their love for their favorite companies to the world.  Personally, I love how Pongr allows users to interact with one another and how the site maintains close contact with their users through social networks such as Twitter.  Always feels like a small connected family.”

Kara Robinson: “Pongr allows consumers to directly connect with and promote the brands they use most often.  It is a win-win situation for the brand and the consumer.  And, it’s tons of fun!”

If you have played Pongr and have some thoughts you would like to share, let me know, and I will post them above with the others!  (More are expected to come later today too!)

Check out Pongr on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube!


Boston University Hockey 2009

For anyone who did not see this past Saturday’s events, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-At13ZliXw. Not only did Boston University win the national championship in hockey, but they won in overtime after scoring two goals in 42 seconds at the end of the third period.  If Boston University did not seem a school with “spirit,” like Boston College or Notre Dame, it sure has spirit now.

To start off, Dean Elmore, the dean of students, knows how to create spirit in the hearts of people.  Just look at this video:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ufbedQmW18. A parade in honor of this special event!  Since when does Boston University do this for its students?  Then again, we have not won a championship like this since 1995.  Is it wrong that a school will mediocre spirit at best all of a sudden takes advantage of an event like this to gain attention from others?

NOT AT ALL!  Boston University has every right to gain attention from potential students and show the country what it is all about.  BU does in fact have spirit but is not given a lot of attention compared to some of the larger schools nearby.  So what we do not have a football team!  We can compete with BC’s football spirit with our spirit for hockey.  With a comeback like the terriers had this past Saturday, it is definitely deserved.

When potential students come to Boston University to look at the campus, they always ask about the spirit.  How does BU show spirit without a football team?  Do students go to games?  Are sports a big deal on campus?  In the past, the answer may have been that sports are not stressed as much here as other places, but this trend is changing.  People want to see this hockey team who has achieved so much this year.  With all these championships and future NHL players, who knows where it will take us next year…


Advertising on YouTube

This week, I wanted to reply to one of the comments on the blog.  For anyone who has not seen, his question was “How should people utilize YouTube for advertising – the videos themselves, or just pre-roll and post-roll in-video ads?”  I did a bit of research into the topic on the Internet and came up with many interesting articles discussing the topic.  Some people say pre-roll ads are not going to be around much longer, similar to pop-ups on the Internet.  Personally, I know that when pre-roll ads are played for me on the Internet, I walk away until the ad is done and then play my clip from its starting point without the ad.  However, many people sit through the 30 second clip awaiting their video, and the advertising technique is successful.  Even though many people cannot stand this type of advertising, it is definitely effective when utilized.

As for post-roll advertising, I personally do not see the effectiveness of it.  If an advertisement is played at the end of the video, people are simply going to click out of the clip (unless the advertisement does something to REALLY get their attention, but this will only happen once in a blue moon).  If advertisers are going to spend money producing these ads, I would suggest they stick with pre-roll ads.  However, from a consumers’ point of view, I would like the post-roll ad more because it gives me the choice whether or not I want to watch it.  I will not feel pressured to like their product or service because it is my choice whether or not I watch it.  With pre-roll ads, I feel a form of pressure from the advertisements that they are FORCING me to watch this clip.

However, I feel that the most effective form of advertising on YouTube is the individual video clips.  Many companies, such as Microsoft, Apple, Freecreditreport.com, Geico etc. are so creative in their advertisements.  I have looked up various advertisements on YouTube after they catch my attention on television (especially after the SuperBowl).  For example, one clip I recently looked up was Microsoft’s:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DtilWL4mnhI. Not only did it catch my attention and make me smile, but I thought it was a very effective form of advertising.  And no one can forget the Geico Gecko!  When the consumer makes the choice to watch an ad, it will have more of an effect because that consumer has an open mind and truly wants to listen.  When people are forced to watch advertisements and feel pressured, their mind is already closed off to the idea of listening to what the advertisement has to say.  Therefore, my suggestion for all of you advertisers out there: utilize the videos themselves as advertising, or if you HAVE TO, post-roll advertising.