26th August 2005 witnessed the dawn of a new era in internet marketing. Alex Tew came up with an idea which would rewrite the nuances of internet advertising and increase traffic like never before….and thus was born ” Pixel Advertising”. Alex Tew put up a website with one million pixels of advertising space for $1 a pixel and use that money to pay for his education. His goal – a million dollars. This so called “silly idea” turned out to be a “brilliant idea” and as I write this article…the search for brilliant idea in google displays the website of Alex Tew within the first three results. Pixel Advertisements have arrived with a bang and has given a new meaning to “Micro Advertisements” in particular and internet marketing in general.
Alex Tew launched his inspiration in August 2005 after dreaming it up at his home in U.K. His objective was to make a million dollars through the million pixels. His site has a grid of 10,000 boxes made up of 100 pixels giving an area of approximately 4mm x 4mm each. The idea is that people can buy a 1 or more block/s of pixels, place an image on it and link the image to their site. The cost at his website is $1 per pixel with a minimum of a 100 pixel order.
Pixel sites are internet websites that people have formed to sell pixel advertising space to help market other websites or blogs. The pixels are usually available in 100-pixel ‘blocks’ (each measuring 10×10 pixels). You will see most homepages divided into 10,000 of these 100-pixel blocks (hence there are 1,000,000 pixels in total). Internet Marketers have dabbled with traffic exchanges, banner exchanges, link exchanges……..and to add to the internet marketing arsenal we now have a new baby in a Pixel Advertisements.
Since Alex Tew…. (the originator of “Pixel Advertisements”), several websites have come into existence….and some are still cropping up. Some pixel websites are just playing “me-to” to the original idea of Alex Tew while there are others who have brought about innovative changes in the whole concept. There are websites which are asking buyers to click on a particular number of images and visit other websites on the pixel page before their purchase order is processed. This of course…reminds you of traffic exchanges which still provide free traffic with little effort. Then we have pixel websites taking the concept of link exchanges and asking visitors to put up a link to their pixel website in exchange for a limited number of free pixels. There are pixel websites which are giving away free pixels with the hope that they will get free traffic in the process. However, it goes without saying that there are some pixel advertising websites which are selling pixels ranging from 1 cent a pixel to $ 1 a pixel ….and some of them are making money.
The pixel advertising industry will continue to evolve with more and more pixel websites coming up with innovative ideas enticing visitors to part with their money to buy a pixel or two. The outcome of this “Pixel Advertising phenomenon” is difficult to predict. Perhaps…any of these three things can happen….
1) People will come up with several interesting and innovative ideas based on pixel advertising to keep the pixel advertising industry going
2) People will run out of new innovative ideas and the industry will stagnate but advertisers will continue to use pixel advertisements as a part of their internet marketing strategy
3) The initial euphoria gathered by the pixel advertising industry will slow down and a few years from now….pixel advertising will be dead and no one will remember the concept of pixel advertising in internet marketing
All said and done…the decision has to be taken by the advertiser as to whether the return on investment on pixel advertisement is sufficient enough to warrant such an investment…and even if the advertiser decides that pixel advertisements will be the future, the more difficult decision is to identify the pixel website which will give the maximum ROI.