Pixel Advertising: Fad or Trend?
By Oudam Em
Pixel advertising is an innovative marketing concept introduced by 22-year-old
Alex Tew that allows advertisers to buy advertising space on a per-pixel cost
basis. The more pixels an advertiser buys, the larger their ad and the greater
the chance that it will be clicked on. Selling one million pixels at $1 each,
Alex's Million Dollar Homepage has created quite a buzz in the news media and
has easily reached its $1 million target.
Thanks to the stunning success of Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage (MDHP), pixel ad
sites have mushroomed all over the net. There are even commercial scripts that
you can buy that will allow you to set up your own million-dollar homepage in
less than 15 minutes. However, this does not mean you'll make a million
dollars…or even a thousand dollars…or even the cost of the script.
Alex Tew’s pixel advertising concept was simple, so simple that it eventually
led many people to pound their heads on the wall repeating to themselves, “Why
didn’t I think of this first?” But his idea was also novel and original. And
because of its novelty it commanded a lot of attention (and free publicity) from
Needless to say, no news organization will rush to report about a second
million-dollar homepage, let alone one set up in 15 minutes with a purchased
script. This is not to say, however, that there is no room in cyberspace for the
second or third or even thousandth MDHP. In fact, there are presently at least a
thousand MDHP clones hoping to capitalize on the pixel advertising craze. Many
of them have managed to make a lot of money despite not being the original.
Some people view MDHP clones as little more than shameless imitations trying to
leech off Tew's original concept. This would be the case if his idea, while fun
and original, has little use beyond his website.
On the contrary, the clones have proved quite the opposite. Their successes have
demonstrated that Tew's Million Dollar Homepage was worth much more than $1
million. Moreover, they have lend legitimacy to the concept of pixel .
While the original MDHP has made "internet history" (in Tew's words) by
achieving its $1 million goal, it is unlikely to become anything more than just
a blip in internet history if the concept is not adopted and refined by others.
In fact, most MDHP clones have achieved their riches not by ripping off Tew's
site verbatim, but by borrowing his pixel advertising concept and finding
creative uses for it.
Far from being just a fad, pixel advertising holds an enormous promise as an
alternative, cost-effective channel for online advertising. But the concept is
still in its infancy, and to avoid becoming internet history, it has to evolve.
An important aspect of this evolution is how limitations inherent in the concept
itself and in how pixel advertising is being used are addressed.
Perhaps the most obvious argument against pixel advertising is that its current
use is largely limited to websites with seemingly useless clutters of ads with
no content whatsoever. At best these sites offer advertisers little more than a
source of non-targeted traffic.
An obvious solution to this is to incorporate pixel advertising into
content-rich sites. Instead of selling pixel advertising exclusively through a
site with nothing but a giant grid of picture ads, banner-sized pixel grids may
be incorporated into a site with real content. A good example of this
application is the relatively small and unobtrusive pixel panel placed on
most people go to ezClassifieds.org to post and look at ads, the site is an
ideal place to offer pixel advertising to visitors. Obviously, incorporating
pixel ads into content sites involves a lot more work than installing a
ready-made script on a new domain. It involves developing a content-rich site
and *then* offering pixel ads as an alternative to text links and traditional
Used in this way, pixel ads are at the very least superior to traditional banner
ads. Unlike traditional banners, a pixel banner may contain ads for several
advertisers. Plus, pixel ads are not confined to predetermined shapes and sizes.
Many pixel ad scripts will automatically resize images submitted by advertisers,
eliminating the need to edit them to conform to the publisher's requirements.
Purchasing pixel ads is usually painless and often fully automated. Since most
people have grown accustomed to ignore banner ads, pixel ads are likely to
generate higher click-through rates.
Oudam Em is the publisher of MillionDollarBuzz.com,
a free pixel advertising site. Visit his
pixel site to place free pixel
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