Foods To Be Avoided When You Have A Panic Disorder

ftbaapdHealthy diet means not only eating healthy food, but also avoiding certain foods. For instance, caffeine does not affect the body well if you are struggling with anxiety or panic disorder. Try to drink teas as home remedies for panic attacks. Chamomile tea or lemon balm tea will be better than coffee. Many patients who suffer from panic disorder say that coffee has been affecting them negatively. Also, it is good to reduce meat and dairy products as well. Instead of drinking milk, try to take almond milk or rice milk.

Avoid taking sweets because sugar is not very good for your health. Replace the sugar with honey. Instead of eating animal fat, include more olive oil and nuts in your diet. Alcohol is forbidden for people who suffer from anxiety or panic. It may cause really bad consequences on brain. And we know that the brain should be kept safe and healthy when facing emotional and psychological issues. If you see that certain foods are helping you to feel better, eat them every day. And the other way around – if you notice that certain foods or drinks are making you even more depressed, stop consuming them. It is that simple.

Relaxing Muscles May Prevent Panic Attacks

People who are constantly having panic attacks may visit a physician who will examine them and see how to treat that condition. Sometimes medication is not necessary and this problem can be solved by simple and natural techniques. Relaxing the body every day and exercising the proper breathing may help. If you are one of those people who would like to know how to deal with panic attacks, just read further and wait for few useful tips.

Relaxation is a must for you if you suffer from panic disorder. You should exercise relaxation every single day. If you don’t know how to breathe in a right way, practice quality breathing each day. Lay on bed and feel how the air flows through your nose and goes in your lungs while you’re pushing the muscles in your stomach. You can relax your body by simple exercises. While still laying on bed, close your eyes and try to focus your thoughts and your attention to your toes. Try curling them and then relaxing them for several times. When you are curling your toes, squeeze the muscles very hard and try to remain in that position for few seconds. Then relax your toes and repeat the exercise few times. Do that exercise every morning and every evening.

Can Vitalsleep Successfully Take Care Of Snoring?

stcssWhen it comes to health, it is always better to prevent some complications than to treat them once they appear. The situation is the same even with snoring, that is more than just a funny sound, so it must be prevented. Even though Vitalsleep can successfully take care of this problem, here are some steps everyone should consider in order to avoid dealing with snoring.

The first step should be taking care of regular check-ups, especially for those who are a part of risky group, such as smokers, overweight people, and those who drink too much. The best way to make sure that the upcoming night will be peaceful is to have light meal before going to bed, preferably vegetarian menu. Even the sleeping conditions may be important. That is why everyone should try sleeping without a pillow, or using the anti-snoring pillow, in order to make sure that airway passages are not blocked. There are even many throat exercises designed to make the muscles stronger, so they should be practiced couple of times a day. In some situations, snoring cannot be stopped even with the healthiest lifestyle. In case the snoring is hereditary, one should look for a perfect anti-snoring device that brings along no side effects, such as Vitalsleep.

Is Anti-Snoring Surgery A Good Idea?

People who have problems with snoring usually go after many solutions, and if none of them works, the only thing to choose is a laser surgery. However, this is a huge step; it is not easy to make this decision. Therefore, one must know all the pros and cons before undergoing this procedure.

Before making any big moves, it is vital to know that anti-snoring laser surgery is for those people who cannot find solution in any other device or product. People who are heavy snorers and who have snoring problem due to sleep apnea are usually advised to take surgery treatment. The first solution may be the Uvulopalatoplasy that is done with lasers, and in this procedure, the uvula needs to be trimmed. This is very fast surgery that requires only local anesthetic and one needs to do five of those in order to get rid of snoring successfully. Another procedure is Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty where the throat needs to be enlarged near tonsils. This procedure is more complicated than the previous one, so it needs to be done under general anesthesia. However, the major downside of this procedure is its high price many people cannot pay. Many doctors recommend that the snorer should try to solve this problem with a number one mouthpiece, and if that does not work, the laser surgery can be the next step. Check out this great Vitalsleep review and know more about the benefits of vitalsleep device.

RAID 10 Recovery Is Different From Other Levels

rrlThe levels of RAID are all different from one another. This is because of different methods and strategies used in the RAID levels. These levels are distinct in terms of the patterns of data storage and ease in controlling the situations of data loss. RAID 10 recovery is included in the complex recovery methods of data loss. The lower levels of RAID disks are the simple levels. On the other hand, the higher levels of RAID are the complex levels that involve difficult categories and steps of RAID.

Depending upon the levels of RAID disks, the recovery methods are selected. RAID 10 recovery includes so many steps and procedures. People can choose the multiple levels of configuring RAID systems. The system is made with several disks and when problems occur in the functionality and working of drives, it results in data loss problems. When the disks are failed, the whole system can be copped up according to the replacement of troubled disk. The replacement of corrupted and damaged disk is done so that the troubled disk can be rebuilt to get the lost data back in the drive. The RAID 10 recovery methods include same easy and simple steps and procedures.

Taking Care Of RAID Drives

When it comes to RAID, various disks are supposed to have the performances of an individual disk. It can largely increase the speed, safety and the performance of a particular business area. However, this does not mean that data crushes may not occur, but it is important to be prepared, and know what steps to make. On the other hand, in order to avoid the RAID repair, one must know how to keep the RAID healthy.

RAID is well-known reliable tool, but some backups must be done, so regular maintenance is a must. Therefore, just one software can be good enough when it comes to take care of RAID configuration. Knowing where is a problem can be very helpful, and if one learns some basics, he can easily use simple tools and do small recoveries. In case there is no tool that can work, it is better to let the professional do the RAID repair. Sometimes, using the software instead of hardware RAID is better solution, and thanks to it, many errors can be avoided. In order to have the RAID always work properly, one should invest some money in it, since it can also save the money that may be used for repairs.

Open Source Help Desk Has Opened The Door To Changes

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While help desk functions are some of the most important among the service industry, these functions have always been performed manually and by people working in shifts. That is how they have been available to respond to queries around the clock. Over the last several years and with the advent of Internet, technology has become more easily available to people and companies. The open source help desk just made it that much easier because it allowed people to make changes to the software whenever it was needed. On the other hand, the earlier more conventional software had a few restrictions and allowed for limited use. More and more offices are able to get on to using open source help desk and customize it to their specific needs.

One of the biggest advantages of open source help desk applications is that it enables a large amount of knowledge transfer because the source code is accessible. Moreover, offices or businesses find that it can be process driven and that makes for a seamless functioning of the entire company. The dependency on employees has always been a time consuming factor due to the possibility of human error as well as the drawn out process of raising a ticket and resolving the issue. This has been simplified with open source help desk.

Choosing A Medical Billing Course

There are a number of things that people look at when they are making the decision to take up courses in colleges. A  medical billing course enables one to be able to undertake his roles well in the hospital he works for. These are the people who make up payment claims from insurance companies once a patient has been treated at a hospital or by a given doctor. Usually when you have received treatment from a doctor, you leave details of your insurance for the follow ups to be made in order to get payment.

A medical billing course is crucial for the person who has made the decision to go for a career in medical billing. However, there are some things which you need to ascertain when you are making the pick for the school to go to for these studies. First, ensure that the school you go to is accredited. This will ensure that the training you get is from people who are qualified and that you will get the right skills from it. If possible, you need to know also the contents of the course. Be sure that the important aspects of billing such as coding are all taught. Read about this at www.medical-billing.net

An Inexpensive Way To Reduce Wrinkles

rw-01I availed of Hydroxatone’s 30 day trial. I did not have to wait for long to decide whether I will purchase the product or not. After three days of including Hydroxatone on my daily rituals, I already noticed the transformation that it brought to my skin. It was evident that my previously dry skin has become hydrated with this product. Even my friends noticed the changes. They tell me I am prettier now and I have that certain aura that they never saw before. Hydroxatone just proved me that one does not have to spend a fortune to get his desired effects when it comes to eliminating wrinkles. I feel so blessed having found some Hydroxatone reviews just when I was about to be convinced to try on Botox. Hydroxatone is an inexpensive treatment that many dermatologists trust. I never experienced anything undesirable while using this product. It does not cause skin itching or redness. It contains mild ingredients and ones that are safe to consume even on a regular basis. All that I read about this product from reviews are true. I will not hesitate to recommend it to people who are in need of a reliable treatment to get rid of their creases.

Guaranteeing The Safety And Quality An Anti Wrinkle Treatment

It is not easy to earn money these days. For this reason, no matter what you are planning to purchase, you should make an effort to ensure that the product you will be paying for is of good quality. This is especially recommended to people who want to buy an anti wrinkle product. If you want to get hold of a product that can immediately erase the crow’s feet appearance on your skin, you should take time to check on online reviews. These are materials that buyers can use to have an idea of how a certain wrinkle product works. Take Hydroxatone reviews as an example. Hydroxatone is an established treatment that a lot of skin doctors recommend. You wouldn’t know its ability to reduce wrinkles if you are not aware of its ingredients. You will also miss on its 30 day free trial offering if you don’t take time to read these reviews. Sometimes, these reviews also have customer testimonials, where you can learn how fast it served previous users. By browsing through these reviews, you get to ensure the caliber of the treatment before you spend your hard-earned money for it. It is also a great way to guarantee the safety of the product.

Hydroxatone Fights Off Signs Of Skin Aging

I stumbled upon some Hydroxatone reviews last night while browsing the internet. It was not in my plan to use any treatment for my wrinkles but these reviews taught me that I can have my creases eliminated with a product that is as distinguished as Hydroxatone. This morning, I told my wife my Hydroxatone discovery and she was pleased that I no longer have to undergo dermabrasion or Botox to have the crow’s feet traces on my skin removed. She knows how I badly want to get rid of my wrinkles. Because she felt how depressed I am due to these ugly lines on my skin, she was forced to allow me to use a portion of our savings for Botox. Now, we don’t have to use up our savings for this pursuit. With a few dollars, I can have my youthful aura back. I will place an order for Hydroxatone through one of its authorized dealers. I am really excited to start using it. I am sure that just like its former users; I will be satisfied with its effects. I have suffered from wrinkles for a number of years. It feels good finding a product that is truly competent in fighting off signs of skin aging.

Exercise And Video Games? Sign Us Up!

It turns out that the physically draining whitewater game we played, Namco’s Rapid River, isn’t a one-of-a-kind machine. It’s just the latest in a wave of revolutionary video games that simulate various sports. Downhill mountain biking? It’s here. Virtual skateboarding? Yup. Hang gliding? That, too. Name a sport and a video game “simulator” exists or is being developed by some demented computer genius. And no matter how big a stud you were at Asteroids, you’ve got to be fit, skilled and athletic and have splendid hand-eye coordination before you can even think about becoming a great player at these games. A thick wallet helps, too: Each game costs anywhere from $1 to $4 per play, depending on the game’s complexity and the arcade owner’s level of greed.

raprivIf you’ve got some disposable income, though, and are jonesing for sports action on a lousy winter day, play any of the following games. We spent hours testing our video-game prowess and determined that these are the five most exciting and physically challenging machines around. If you can find them all in one place, try our basic videogame circuit workout. Hint: Play with intensity. The more aggressive you are, the more real the games feel.

Station 1: Top Skater

Sega’s freewheeling Top Skater, the current king of sports video games, simulates skateboarders’ aggressive creativity with great detail and authenticity. Each of the game’s two courses offers numerous skating options: Get huge air off ramps, half pipes or Coca-Cola billboards. Or go for max speed. Or grind your axle on hand rails and tree pots. You compete only against the clock and yourself.

Where’s the burn? Your calves and quads.

Game controls: A twin-tail skateboard that functions a bit like a snowboard. Designers anchored the front end so you need to swing the back end to turn sharp. Otherwise, steer it like a skateboard, leaning slightly for small direction changes, kicking the tail for big jumps or tapping the front end for an ollie. Safety rails in front of you and on the sides help you get and stay balanced.

How it plays: Though overuse has made the skateboards on some machines a bit squirrelly, most handle well and feel true to street riding. Bold graphics, a nonstop music soundtrack by skater fave Pennywise and perfectly recreated skateboard tricks like the 720 McTwist boost the game’s authenticity.

Rating the thrills: High. I get a dizzying rush each time I pull off an S-grade jump (achieve this elite trick by launching an air maneuver at the last possible second). Both the novice and expert courses also have multiple individual thrill spots. Novice highlight: the freestyle platform in the middle of the course. Expert highlight: the eerie full-pipe.

Station 2: Ski Super G

How does Sega’s downhill skiing simulator rank? Double black diamond all the way. The steeps seem dose to vertical, the jumps are huge and the races – you can ski either downhill or slalom – are super-competitive. Watch out for opponents who try to force you into the trees.

Where’s the burn? Your quads.

Game controls: Connected side-by-side ski “steps” that are angled toward the video screen, forcing you into a tuck. The steps rotate left and right on a central axis, which allows you to edge your skis sharply in either direction. You can also shift the entire control rig more than a foot in each direction to carve big, sweeping turns. Two stationary poles help you maintain balance.

How it plays: Since the skis are short and connected in the tight, parallel position effortlessly employed solely by expert skiers (but not novices or erratic intermediates like me), it took a few games to master the controls. Also, the machine doesn’t bounce you around on bumps, though controlling your speed and direction becomes harder.

Rating the thrills: Medium to high. Trees, competing skiers and blinding whiteouts come at you so fast that the entire screen sometimes seems like a blurry kaleidoscope. If you’re able to pick out a clear path through the mess, though, jumps are abundant and the hang time feels real.

Station 3: Downhill Bikers

This game, made by Namco, simulates the basic aspects of its sport better than any of its revolutionary brethren. Each of this mountain-biking game’s two race courses, a speed hill and a technical run, includes flat spots, jumps and other challenging terrain. And with scores of other racers – both computer-controlled competitors and human opponents – whizzing down the course, it’ll piss you off just like that crowded popular trail back home does.

Where’s the burn? Everywhere.

Game controls: A stationary, single-geared mountain bike with shock-absorbing powers. To steer: Turn the handlebars or lean left or right – the bike shifts more than a foot in each direction, so you can lay it out hard on turns. If you have to use the brakes, the levers are on the handlebars.

How it plays: The logo-covered bike is light and comfortable, and it handles differently depending on the terrain. Around easy turns, it’s nice and grippy. On the bumps, it’s less responsive and a little jiggly. On the fiats, where you’ve got to pedal all-out or your bike will stop cold, it’s stable and smooth. Only on tight turns does the bike’s responsiveness feel sluggish. That, or maybe all 14 crashes were the result of my pathetic high-speed riding skills.

Rating the thrills: Medium. Though soaring jumps and violent spills abound, the small video screens and weak sound system don’t broadcast the virtual thrills as well as some of the other games do.

Station 4: Wave Runner

Sega’s personal-watercraft simulator drops you into a race course with nine other jet-set boaters. Water conditions vary, the competition’s tough, and jumps are plentiful. Dolphins get involved, too.

Where’s the burn? Your quads.

Game controls: A replica of a Yamaha Wave Runner personal watercraft. To steer: Shift your weight left or right, turn the handlebars or do both. The boat leans about a foot to each side. Accelerate by squeezing the throttle above the right-hand grip.

How it plays: If you spray some water on your face and crank up a leaf blower to simulate the triple-digit decibels created by most personal watercraft, you’ll swear you’re really ripping. Like a real PWC, the replica Yamaha bounces rhythmically on the straights and cuts efficiently on the turns, unless you take one too tight, in which case the tail skips and whips across the water. The craft jerks and shudders in choppy water, too, forcing you to hang on tighter and concentrate a little more.

Rating the thrills: High. Hit a jump or a wave at full speed and feel your stomach bottom out.

Station 5: Rapid River

As with Top Skater, speeding to the finish line is only one of many game options on this whitewater-rafting simulator. You can perform a little whitewater rodeo in the rapids or play around in the giant whirlpool until your rotator cuffs feel like they’re going to rip apart.

Where’s the burn? Triceps, biceps and your cardiovascular system.

Game controls: A single metal paddle that’s situated parallel to the ground at shoulder level. Sit in the roomy seat and move the oars rhythmically in clockwise circles to paddle; the quicker you spin, the faster your raft goes. To turn, stop paddling and dip an oar left or right. One person can control the paddle at both ends, or two players can work side-by-side as a team.

How it plays: The paddle turns smoothly and responds to commands quickly and, as it should, the game rewards a strong, rhythmic rowing motion, I felt the closest to real whitewater rafting, though, when we smacked the raft against the rocky shoreline. The pneumatic machinery provides ample bounce, and that really forces you to concentrate in order to keep the desired paddling rhythm. One drawback: The virtual [H.sub.2]O provides minimal resistance.

Rating the thrills: Medium to high. Though the game fails to recreate the soaring adrenaline surges of a real whitewater excursion, the bouncing raft and some unexpected obstacles – whirlpools, ice patches, powerful raft-flipping geysers – will quicken your pulse and churn your stomach. What are you waiting for?

Building A Brand Through Gaming

To familiarize youngsters with their brands and validate their credibility as an athletic label, companies such as Speedo, Tommy Hilfiger and Vans are teaming up with toy makers to produce co-branded products.

popularbrandsOutfitting dolls with their signature activewear and using their logos in video games are some of the ways activewear makers aim to attract youngsters.

More than anything, this three-dimensional marketing reaches youngsters in their element. That seemingly effortless pitch should appeal to fickle kids who are more likely than their elders to balk at big brands and aggressive advertising.

“Kids want to know what a brand means beyond its label,” said Peter Levine, executive creative director and head of strategic planning for Desgrippes Gobe & Associates, a marketing firm that has done extensive research in generational differences. “This completes the whole world of a brand. It’s modern.” Stephen A. Greyser, professor of consumer marketing at Harvard Business School, offered another take.

“This isn’t the biggest marketing idea that ever came down the pike,” he said. “It is a creative approach to attempt to provide additional awareness — to be seen by more eyeballs, minds and, presumably, wallets.”

Today’s kids are more brand-conscious than any other generation. They’re also savvy about marketing and understand that pro athletes like Michael Jordan receive million-dollar paychecks for saying they like certain shoes, Levine said.

Reaching consumers as teenagers is wise, since that is when they are discovering their own voice and using brands to express that, he added.

“The concept of defining ourselves has become so blurred. It used to be that people would define themselves by their religion or nationality. In America, the melting pot has become the tossed salad. Now people use brands to define who they are. And kids are striving for brand identity more than anyone else.

“These kids are less likely to buy into a generic uniform. The notion of looking like everyone else is very dated — that’s more for baby boomers,” he said. And activewear makers are equally concerned about their image.

“It’s a logical step for us. We want to be part of what kids are into and this is one of the things they’re into,” said Gary Schoenfeld, president and chief executive officer of Vans. “Kids definitely take notice of the signs and what the characters wear.”

More and more children are making their own buying decisions, said Todd Howard, president of Tommy Hilfiger’s children’s division.

Unlike a few years ago, when youngsters became brand-conscious between the ages of nine and 10, they now recognize labels when they are six or seven due to all the TV, magazine and other stimuli aimed at them, he said.

“Kids are consumers. They’re in touch with brands and quality, and they certainly want what they believe is cool.”

Given that, Tommy Hilfiger is taking an aggressive approach to the toy business. The designer’s name and logo are featured on signs, banners, jumps, flags and hot air balloons in Nintendo’s new 1080 snowboarding video game. To spotlight its new partnership, Nintendo game kiosks were placed in 1,000 Tommy Hilfiger in-store shops for boys in 100 markets. Girls account for at least 10 percent of all purchases of its boys’ apparel.

To add an element of fun and excitement to the promotion, Kenan and Kel, stars of Nickelodeon’s “All That” and the movie “Good Burger,” made four appearances to play the game with shoppers. Some 4,000 shoppers turned out this month to greet them and check out the game.

Howard described the investment as “the largest marketing piece we’ve ever done for the children’s division.”

A limited edition four-piece group of Hilfiger and Nintendo apparel, which retails for $18 to $95, is available in stores while supplies last. The designer expects to sell 40,000 T-shirts, 20,000 sweatshirts and 1,000 snowboard jackets, Howard said.

“This is really not about sales of these items,” Howard said. “From our vantage point, it’s about the added value that it brings to the brand.”

The Nintendo kiosks will be in stores for 12 months, and five more Nintendo games featuring Hilfiger’s logo are expected to be introduced during that time.

As part of a special promotion this month, those who bought the Nintendo snowboarding game received a coupon offering a complimentary Hacky Sack — a bean bag used in a children’s game — with any $50 purchase.

Hilfiger shoppers who purchased at least $50 worth of merchandise to get the Hacky Sack also received a $20 discount coupon for Nintendo’s 1080 snowboarding game.

Next month, Reebok makes its debut in the toy market. Through an endorsement deal with Konami of America, a maker of electronic games, Reebok International helped create designs for apparel, footwear and stadium signs for its International Superstar Soccer ’98 games for Nintendo 64, Sony PlayStation and Game Boy. An image of Carlos Valderrama, captain of the Colombian national team and a player for the Miami Fusion, will be outfitted in Reebok attire. “It’s a great way to reach younger consumers, which is a market we are targeting. Many kids today play soccer two hours a day and video games for another hour a day,” said Marvin Chow, director of interactive marketing for Reebok. “We want to be where they are off the playing fields.”

With this new strategy, Reebok aims to capture more female and male consumers between the ages of eight and 22, he said.

Eurosport, a mail order business aimed at soccer players, is offering an insert that allows players to flip through its catalog. Reebok soccer apparel and footwear is offered in the Eurosport catalog.

Konami’s games feature male players, but the company is considering developing a female version for the Women’s World Cup, which will be held in the U.S. next year, Chow said.

Vans, a Santa Fe Springs, Calif., footwear and activewear maker that focuses on alternative sports, will enter the video game business in November. Both the male and female character in Psybadek, a new game produced by Psygnosis, will wear apparel with the Vans logo and footwear with its signature stripe. Vans liked the subtle branding in Psybadek, which simulates futuristic snowboarding, said Cary Allington, director of marketing for Vans. Having rejected seven proposals from video-game makers in the past year, Vans stays away from blatant branding, he added.

The strategy should be effective with youths between the ages of 10 and 16 who tend to be more anti-big-brand than most consumers.

In exchange for the use of the Vans name, the company will use in-store promotions, its Warp Tour, a music tour and product demonstration, and its Triple Crown Series, a skateboarding competition, to plug the game. In total, the company invests about $50,000, Allington said.

“This is something that’s really easy to do. These companies see the value of co-branding. It makes their game more authentic,” he said. “It’s almost a matter of lending their brand equity. It’s positive exposure.”

Two years ago, Vans was less successful with another venue — comic books. The company hired an illustrator to design an ad in the form of a comic strip that was used for a comic book. Comic books — especially underground ones — are particularly popular with teenagers.

But the company didn’t get an overwhelming response, Allington said.

Vans is not actively pursuing toy manufacturers, but the company has been approached by several firms about potential deals.

“If the right situation came along and it seemed to be a good fit for us, we would do it,” he said.

Mattel has been approached by at least five athletic companies about co-branding for new products, according to Adrienne Fontanella, senior vice president of worldwide licensing and new ventures. The company is considering such alliances for Barbie sporting goods and new Barbie dolls.

“We have a great relationship with Nike, and we might work with them down the road,” Fontanella said. “We would love to work with Nike, Reebok or any of the big players.”

This year, Mattel introduced Olympic Skater Barbie, Flip-N-Dive Barbie and NASCAR Barbie. To give the dolls credibility, Olympic skater Tara Lipinski endorses the skating doll, and Flip-N-Dive Barbie sports a tank suit with a Speedo logo. That’s quite a switch from Workin’ Out Barbie, who hit toy stores two years ago dressed in a body-hugging neon patterned outfit.

Soccer Barbie, which bows at retail next March, wears a uniform similar to the women’s national soccer team. As the spokeswoman for Soccer Barbie, Mia Hamm, an athlete who endorses Nike, will appear in its advertising and on the product’s packaging.

Nike executives were reportedly “worked up” about whether the doll’s uniform should have a Swoosh, said one executive familiar with the negotiations.

Just How Useful Is Interactivity?

A lot has changed since 1991. Today, Prodigy has been repositioned as an Internet Service Provider, and the World Wide Web is the place to put games and contests. But as Godin sees it, human nature has remained pretty much the same.

interactivity“Contests work because people want to feel masterful,” Godin says. “They want to feel like they are doing something right, and they like to daydream about winning. Those two things put together get people to fill out the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes; they get people to play sweepstakes online. Most games crash computers or require too much bandwidth, but e-mail contests take only about a minute a day to play.”

Yoyodyne has designed over 100 different games or contests for clients such as MCI, American Express, Fox TV, and Rolling Stone. In addition to specific

e-mail based games, Yoyodyne has also developed multi-sponsor sweepstakes such as Get Rich Click. Unlike the money-up-front set-up with banner ads, Get Rich Click sponsors only pay for the visitors who actually come to their sites, at a rate of 50 cents each. Yoyodyne typically charges about $20,000 for sweepstakes sponsorships to $200,000 a year for focused, customized work with a client.

The company’s latest invention, which debuted in June, is called Game Ticker. A small, Java-based applet, Game Ticker is installed on a Web server and offered to certain Web site visitors. Using the framing technology of Netscape 3.x and Internet Explorer 3.x, Game Ticker appears as a separate window where a game – resembling, for example, a slot machine – is played in real time. Every 60 seconds the window changes, allowing the visitor to play a new round, which increases their chances of winning. If the player gets a match, they must enter their e-mail address to be automatically entered into a drawing for prizes of up to $100,000. Each new round causes a new set of ads to appear at the bottom of the frame. One larger frame allows advertisers to provide a direct link to their Web site. If visitors get tired of playing, one click and Game Ticker is gone.

Fred Halfpap, director of online marketing at H&R Block, is a relatively new believer in contests on the Internet. Earlier this year, H&R Block ran a contest called “We’ll Pay Your Taxes,” designed by Yoyodyne to drive traffic to H&R Block’s Web site. Through a series of three weekly e-mail messages, players were directed

Even the scratch and win concept has been adapted for the Internet.

to the Web site for answers to questions. Each e-mail message also contained a brief product message from H&R Block. The game averaged 46,000 weekly players during its two-month run, registering more hits on the H&R Block Web site in just two weeks than in all of 1996.

To test its effectiveness as an advertising vehicle, Halfpap conducted a survey midway through the contest, asking questions that could only be answered by players who had read the product messages. Halfpap sent the survey to both the people who had played the game the previous week and those who hadn’t. Of the people who chose not to play, 31 percent answered the questions correctly, versus 51 percent among those who did play. In other words, even if participants chose not to play, they still read the product message.

“We were basically looking at trying to drive at least 1.5 million hits to our Web site during tax season, and we found that a contest would probably be the best way,” says Halfpap.

Halfpap was so impressed with online contests that he later worked with H&R Block’s ad agency to develop another game, H&R Rock, to lure the college market to H&R’s Web site. Halfpap signed up Polygram records to give away compact discs every day. The grand prize winner won a trip to San Francisco for a concert. The Web site featured a coupon for $10 off H&R Block’s tax services, which was downloaded by approximately 1,000 people.

Games Companies Play

As more and more start-ups try to make money on the Web, the line between ad-supported content and promotional ploy seems to be blurring. Take, for instance, Riddler (http://www.riddler.com), a Web site that began offering word and trivia games in April 1995. Before you can access Riddler’s game content, a full-screen ad must be downloaded. This apparently doesn’t discourage visitors, who drop by the site at a rate of 65,000 per day.

The ads themselves range in price from 15 cents to 75 cents per click. Recent sponsors include Atlantic Records, MasterCard, Motorola, and Sega of America.

Even the concept of scratch and win cards has been adapted for the Internet. Last fall, RealTime Media – an Internet marketing and contest management company – joined with CyberCash Inc. – a developer of software offering secure online financial transaction – to offer the CyberCash Scratch & Win Sweepstakes. The game was designed to promote shopping on the Internet by sending electronic “scratch and win” cards to shoppers who made purchases with CyberCash’s Wallet software. Using Java technology, the shopper “scratched off” six boxes, revealing prizes ranging from small amounts of instant cash to a grand prize of $10,000. If three matching boxes were uncovered, the cardholder won that prize.

“If you look at the Internet, there are two objectives that a Web site has,” says RealTime CEO Chuck Seidman. “One is to build traffic. And if it’s a commerce site, the goal is to take that traffic and convert it into a sale. So, as far as affinity-type programs or promotional programs, I would say that Web sites are always going to be looking for some type of promotional tool that will best serve them the traffic and the sales.”

Next up for RealTime is a site simply called Scratch-N-Win.com. The site will feature a game based on the scratch and win concept, supported by advertisers who pay $3,950 for a three-month sponsorship or 100,000 game plays. After three months, sponsors can renew for $950 per month. Players are only permitted one entry per day.

Pong is only a banner ad, but it’s a creative way to integrate gaming and advertising.

Traditional games are also finding a home on the Net. Hooked on bingo? The Bingo Zone runs interactive bingo games 18 hours a day, 7 days a week, courtesy of the many sponsors whose banner ads download before the game begins. The games are free to registered players. Game winners receive prizes of $2 to $8.

Remember Pong? Now you can play the original computer game at Hewlett-Packard’s Web site. The Shockwave-enabled banner ad pits you against a computer. Sure, it’s only a banner, but it’s also a creative way to integrate gaming and advertising – a concept we may begin to see more of.

“I think more and more marketers are now moving more and more often toward a behaviorist perspective,” says Jerry Shereshewsky, Yoyodyne’s vice president of marketing and business development. “This is a trend, not just on the Web. If you look at the historical trends in mass market advertising for supermarket stuff, consumer brand advertising is declining and sales promotion as a percentage of total spending is increasing.”