Monday, August 14, 2006

Pixel Advertising - The Indian Way

Online marketing is the latest fad in advertising in India and there are many people trying to cash on this. All that is required is to create a website and start selling the pixels to companies for online ads or marketing campaigns. Meet Sunaina Bansal, a housewife who’s decided to rake in a moolah for herself by entering into this and succeeded in creating hype in the market. Her website is called the Crorepati page.

She says,” I was inspired by a young British student who made over a million dollars selling he pixel advertisements. His Web site generated so much interest that he was able to sell over a million dollars of pixel advertisements in a short span of four months. Now, his Web site is completely sold out and advertisers are looking for new innovative pixel Web sites to advertise on”.

The cost of these ads is calculated on the basis of the number of pixels that they occupy. Pixel advertising gained popularity in the last quarter of 2005 when Alex Tew, a British student, created a website called The Million Dollar Homepage, and solicited advertisers to buy ad space measured in pixels on the homepage. The price was set at $1 per pixel, and there were 1 million pixels of space available. In about four months all the ad space was sold out. He required money to fund his education and he came up with this innovative idea and supposedly became a millionaire. Sunaina is offering the same product and hoping to repeat the magic.

What is her selling proposition?

She claims that the site will be alive for the next 5 years atleast (10th January, 2011) and has set a price of Rs 10/pixel. The minimum space that can be bought is 100 pixels which mean Rs 1000 min. per company. For those who do not have a website, she’s providing the option to create one. Advertisers will be able to showcase their ads and link it to their home pages. She is now creating mass awareness by promoting this new medium of advertising through television, radio and the Internet, and contacting companies directly.

But the Big Question is, will she succeed?

If she succeeds, she could be looking at about a crore. Companies like Rediff, Kirloskar and have already endorsed the idea by buying space on the portal. I don’t see much of a utility for such advertising but then maybe it’s a new idea atleast in the Indian context and may work for her if the hype succeeds. It may not offer anything substantial at all but is an ingenious and even funny way to make money but then I’m all for entrepreneurs and this is a novel (ok inspired) way to generate revenue with low costs.

But I see no reason why such a model will work except for the novelty factor and so my advice is, forget this. Good story for housewife entrepreneurship, I guess. It may ofcourse lead to a host of individuals starting their websites and auctioning it but without a sound business model, no reason for them to succeed. Sunaina has the first mover advantage and may benefit but not the others. I checked Alex Tew's site - looks pretty clustered and I'm not very sure it's a great idea but then who knows, funny ideas can make great business!!!

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