Pixel Ads Boost Awareness of Unknown Companies

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Marketing veteran Bob Cefail, chairman of In Touch Media Group, heard last Friday about a British Web site that boosted awareness of several little-known companies by selling micro ads by the pixel. By Tuesday, his online and search marketing firm developed its own site that displays miniature ads: PixelBay.org.

In Touch, Clearwater, FL, formerly known as Data Resource Consulting, began selling ads over the weekend and had 25 micro-ads on the site yesterday.

Selling the ads -- a pixel is about the size of a dot -- on the front page of the site has been easy because they are unique, Cefail told DM News. If an advertiser buys a 100-pixel ad, it appears as a small square in the grid of small squares on the site's front page.

"It looks like the demographics of the heavy Internet users are 18- to 29-year-olds," Cefail said. "It's an extremely tough demographic for people to touch, so [the site] is an alternative. It is kind of quirky." The site also makes advertising fun, instead of a "big, serious thing."

The cost for an ad placement using the pixel-based micro-ads is $1 a pixel, with a minimum 100-pixel purchase. The ad stays on the site for five years.

Cefail got the idea for PixelBay after a client told him about the British pixel ad site Milliondollarhomepage.com, which was formed by a 21-year-old student, Alex Tew, to earn money for college. That site also sells ads by the pixel for $1 each.

In Touch generates traffic to PixelBay by issuing press releases every other day on PRWeb and PressDirectInternational.org. The first release was picked up by nearly 100 media outlets in the first day, Cefail said.

Response from advertisers and visitors has been beyond what Cefail expected.

"It's a whirlwind," he said of the many advertiser calls In Touch has received. Cefail also is surprised that, when visitors click on the ads that link to the advertiser's Web site, "they are on these sites for hours. Already, the guys that bought the ads are reporting tremendous volume shifts."

In Touch plans more pixel sites, such as a family-oriented site, with input from individuals involved in the multiplayer gaming field.

Christine Blank covers online marketing and advertising, including e-mail marketing and paid search, for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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