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SEPTEMBER 30, 2005

Posted 17 days and 19 hours ago on September 30, 2005

Million-Dollar Brainstorm

For an astonishing example of the power of viral marketing, have a look at The Million Dollar Homepage. Alex Tew, a 21-year-old student from the UK had an absurdly simple idea for raising college tuition money: Launch a Web site and offer 10 x 10-pixel block banner ads for $100, i.e., $1 per pixel. That's it. There's no content. No cool graphics, giveaways or steamy Paris Hilton videos for viewers to salivate over. Imagine a TV channel that shows nothing but commercials, a magazine with nothing but ads. That's The Million Dollar Homepage. Tew has 1,000,000 pixels available, which puts a cool million in his hands if the pixels sell out. Crazy, right? So far he's sold $205,100 worth of browser real estate.  And apparently, advertisers have been getting good results. Check out this review of the site. --James Ross

Re: Million-Dollar Brainstorm
Bekel challenges Tew! Even greater genius! Far more than a rip-off: after Alex Tew started to sell every pixel of his homepage, internet specialist Joost Bekel came up with an idea even more spectacular! Bekel said earlier he can do better than Tew and offers much more fun while raising money. He wants to raise $10,000/week from 1. November 2005 on. That's when he expects his newborn baby. Isn't that cute? So he divided the week into 10.000 little pieces: 1 minute each and offers every piece to the audience for 1 dollar! Now Bekel has set his mind to beat Tew. Tew mentioned in his blog his expected income for September. "September is for Tew, October as well, but in November I expect to break his numbers." Bekel is convinced his concept is even more genius than Tew's and offers more value to the visitor. On the question if he needs really $10,000 for his kid Bekel answers: Does Alex Tew need $1,000,000 for his study? ;-)

Re: Million-Dollar Brainstorm
I actually thought of doing something a lot like this several years ago, but I chose not to do anything about it, so I totally respect Alex Tew for doing this. I’ve put together my own site with a twist - I’m trying to raise money for a new house, and the way my ad spaces work is a little different. I acknowledge Alex for paving the way for this new genre of page. When I sell a few more ad spaces, I’m going to buy a 30x30 ad on Alex’s page in appreciation.

Re: Million-Dollar Brainstorm
this one is the first i have seen that will post your pixel image after confirming your payment. I guess it is the New and Improved version. Wish politicians can come up with creative ways to erase the defecits. Why didn't i think of it first?

Re: Million-Dollar Brainstorm
It's hard to figure out why this is working, but there really is something strangely compelling about it. Lots of copycat sites popping up, as you can imagine -- like the Million Penny Homepage. Just a penny a pixel for ads there. Something is missing, though. What could it be? Oh yes, originality. --J.R.

Re: Million-Dollar Brainstorm
Hey! I love this idea! I can see how advertisers got good results... I went there myself and ended up clicking 5 or six of the interesting looking pixels! "Atta-Boy" to Alex Tew for his idea... I'd print you an "Atta-Boy" certificate if I wern't out of ink. lol. -J.C.

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