I’ll stop you pong if it’s the last thing I do…

Have you ever found yourself going online to look at a site and then notice a pop-up ad that has a game that you can play, but that you know that it’s an ad for some product/company (e.g. Expedia, Travelocity, etc.)? For those of you with pop-up blockers on Firefox or Internet Explorer, chances are that you haven’t. But for those “lucky” few of us who do, then you’ll probably think that they are addictive. Many hours are probably spenty by countless people online with some boredom in their day just playing these games for a few minutes.

American Express has jumped on board this trend by releasing, as part of their sponsorship of the U.S. Open in New York City, the Andy Roddick versus PONG online game. As a continuation to their television commercial during this tennis event, American Express invites viewers to play a game of virtual tennis with PONG and to see if you can get a high score. It also encourages you to share this game as part of its viral marketing program and if you are so inclined to continue reading more about their “My Life My Card” campaign. If you find the game so much fun, then you might think the same about their campaign and continue to want to know more.

So next time you see one of these interesting games, think of all the connections that can exist to that company’s other marketing campaigns. Marketers should take a look at this possibility and get on board to see how to make their online programs more interactive. Plus, it’ll help to continue to draw people back and support any viral marketing. Bored during the day? Find one of these games and have tons of fun!

By Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a journalist fascinated with the stories of the tech industry and internet culture. He's currently the Technology Editor at Flipboard, where he observes what's happening in the space while also identifying new topics of interest. In addition, he co-hosts the weekly internet show "The Created Economy," which focuses on what's happening to creators and influencers. Previously, he was a reporter for VentureBeat and The Next Web, covering tech startups, the industry's innovations and funding. Ken also has a newsletter you should also subscribe to called "Filed."