Hooked on Backgammon
By Denny Hatch
I am addicted to backgammon on the Internet. The site is sponsored by—of all things—Nabisco (www.nabiscoworld.com). Click on "games," then "multi-player," then "backgammon." The graphics are terrific, and I can play a real person in complete anonymity or a computer whose persona is a sarcastic woman so irritating that I have to turn the sound off.
A waste of time? Not really. Sometimes my head gets so full that I have to clear it. A down 'n dirty backgammon game does that—my equivalent of a 10-minute break.
The Direct Marketing of Packaged Goods
What triggered this exercise was an e-offer from Nabisco to receive a free sample of a snack bar. Since these folks sponsor this wonderful backgammon Web site, I happily signed up and am awaiting my shipment.
Meanwhile I received an e-mail from Nabisco:
Dear Denny Hatch, Have you heard the great news about Snack 'n Seal? It's a unique, resealable package for Chewy Chips Ahoy®! that helps keep cookies fresh once the package has been opened. Check out Snack 'n Seal in action.
I clicked on the link and up came a nifty, little animated picture of a Chips Ahoy package. The top is shown peeling back, a couple of cookies pop out, and then the top is pressed back on to seal up the package again. Neat, huh?
Well, not so neat.
Where was the store coupon to print out so that 1.) I would have a "hot potato"—a physical reminder to take to the store so I would remember to try Chips Ahoy in the resealable package and 2.) I could save 25 cents or 50 cents or whatever, Nabisco's way of saying thank you for trying the product?
In other words, I had no incentive to remember or buy.
The Web site could alternate downloadable coupons, giving players the opportunity to try various Nabisco snack bars, candies and cookies.