ADOTAS – Considering how much of a market there is online for people to earn virtual rewards in exchange for real money, it was always just a matter of time before someone figured there might be even more value in giving over real rewards for the things people do online as a matter of course (mobile gaming rewards service Kiip, anyone?). Digital media technology company Adiant stepped into the fray earlier this week by launching ManiRewards, which awards real-life prizes for locating ManiRewards badges around the web, on what a statement from the company describes as “many of the web’s top sites,” where people are reading, watching videos and sharing links. It’s being presented as a promotional opportunity for brands to increase both visibility and consumer affinity by sponsoring awards — physical products, discounts, gift cards and subscriptions are a few of Adiant’s suggestions — and the company’s hoping users, who can sign up for the service for free, will actively seek out those badges as they browse the web. The way the company describes it, it doesn’t require anything out of the ordinary for users to start claiming prizes — aside from registering on the ManiRewards site, they’re rewarded for simply spotting those badges as they go about doing whatever they normally do on the internet. Clicking on each badge — an “M” logo — earns the user a certain number of points, which he or she can eventually cash in to claim and redeem a reward of his or her choice.
While ManiRewards is a vehicle for brands to promote their stuff, Adiant’s saying it operates in a “non-advertising context.” The user’s interaction with a particular brand (aside from the ManiRewards brand itself, that is) doesn’t really start until he or she starts redeeming rewards.