A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

Firefox's Download Day 2008

firefoxdownloadday In case you didn't know, Tuesday, June 17th is a big day… for the Firefox community.  That's when Mozilla will release Firefox 3.  It also hopes to set a new Guinness World Record (they've been some wacky ones) for the most software downloads in 24 hours on what it dubs "Download Day 2008." In fact, on the day's official site, people are asked to pledge to download the new browser on that day.

Firefox is one of the most popular alternatives to Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser, and it has a cult following.  Thus, it is not surprising that Mozilla, the non-profit organization behind it, actively taps into this crowd to spread its product, and Download Day is one way that it can help foment excitement with the fans.

The whole concept of creating a special day to set a new world record may seem gimmicky, but it is also creative.  While a more traditional advertising and marketing campaign might promote the release of the new browser well, Mozilla likely lacks the funds to adequately pull this off on a global — or even national — scale.  Further, Firefox is an Internet-based product, and advertising and marketing is different on-line than it is off-line.  However, that's not necessarily a hurdle since a well devised scheme can cheaply and quickly turn into a viral phenomenon.

While I bet existing Firefox proponents will make up most of the potential world record participants, the novelty of helping set a record might attract some people to give the browser a test drive.  However, the hoopla is mainly for the current user.  It gives them a chance to revel in using the program.

Are you excited about Download Day 2008?  Do you like to have special days to celebrate your favorite products? 

6% are Natural Born Clickers

An interesting study crossed my screen recently.  According to this press release, media agency Starcom USA, behavioral targeting network Tacoda, and digital consumer insight company comScore collaborated on a research study whose results call into question how well click rates on ads measure a consumer base.

The study states that only 6% of the total Internet population represents 50% of the clicks on ads.  Online media companies may use click rates as points of negotiation with their clients, but if this study is accurate, that measurement is not a clear view of how many people are seeing these ads.  Further measurements from the study show no correlation between display ad clicks and brand metrics, and show no connection between measured attitude towards a brand and the number of times an ad for that brand was clicked.

So who are these clickers?  Reading some forums concerning the topic led to some interesting, and occasionally probably ideas:

  • Young children that may click more than they should
  • Overly frugal consumers fiendishly looking for a great deal
  • First time Internet users
  • Employees who click on their own ads to raise metrics
  • Professional ‘ad clickers' who are hired to click to raise metrics

The ‘Heavy Clicker' is profiled in the study.  These users are typically between the ages of 25-44 and households with an income under $40000.  They also spend four times more time online than the typical Internet user and are more likely to visit auctions, gambling, and career services sites.  Clearly, these are not typical Internet users, nor are they the type of people that many of the above suggestions implied.

As I mentioned in a past blog post, measuring click rates is archaic and unnecessary.  Ads on the Internet are not what they were promised to be-noninvasive and simple.

I think that it's actually sad that what could have been a great aspect of the Internet (essentially, selectable commercials) has been destroyed thanks to pop-up ads, spam, scams, and the need for online metrics.  It's time to move on to a new form of online advertising.

China Needs Good PR, Badly

Let's face it; China needs to bolster its reputation before the Summer Olympics begin.  Otherwise, the several countries that are already considering boycotting may, in fact, do so.  In my opinion, it would be a shame if a past representation of political and economical unity were to be halted.  After all, if this one year is a bust, future Olympic games may follow in failure.

PRWeek recently ran an article in their online resource that the Chinese government was interviewing potential US and UK-based PR firms in the hopes to gain some positive pre-game press, prior to the events.  However, no PR firm has admitted to being in the bid war for this lucrative account.


Facebook Applications Analysis – Part 1

[This is cross-posted at our ImpactWatch site]

The overly popular Facebook social network has recently seen a surge of ‘applications' added to its roster.  Users hoping to enhance the experience of the social platform create these applications.  As of January 2008, there are over 14,000 applications in circulation among users.  The uses of these applications range widely; in July 2007, the first Facebook-only venture capital firm (Altura 1 Facebook Investment Fund) was released to the public.  They have gotten so popular that Stanford University recently debuted a class where the end product is Facebook application.  The great success of this class most likely means that many more schools will soon follow suit, offering more classes on social network metrics and creation.


Anger and Video Games: A Winning Combination

Combining aspects of things that people already enjoy is one of the best ways to make an impression on a market without having to be completely original or creative.  For the past couple of months, there has been a surge of such activity in the form of ‘angry' video game reviews.  These reviews combine aspects of life that many males (and some females) enjoy, including ranting, nostalgia, cheap Photo shopping, and dirty humor.  Taken together, these form a "review" of a classic video game.  The reviews have the taste level of an episode of Family Guy, but also have the marketability, as well.