November 04, 2008, 9:46 AM —
The world's smallest, silliest online ads are now for sale - just one pixel each.
Already 37 of the tiny pixels have been sold as part of a promotion for the MillionDollarCu.be website, which in turn has sold over 9000 pixels for a dollar each to advertisers so far.
Australian designer and conceptual artist Robert Black has taken the idea everyone says can never be repeated, selling a million pixels, and added some fresh new twists, a dash of larrikin humour, and some polished design and writing in a serious attempt at turning web traffic from curious onlookers into a neat one million dollars for himself.
Selling a million pixels for $1 each has in fact been done before - three years ago in the UK by a college student, Alex Tew, whose buyers saw massive flows of web traffic in return for the pixels they bought, but that site has long since sold out. Mr Black explains, "everyone believes it can never be repeated after those attempting to follow hot on the heels of Alex's site all failed three years ago. But no one tried very hard, and the idea has lay fallow for a couple of years. Now, in late 2008, I plan on applying some serious creativity and elbow grease to making the magic work a second time. That's my slogan - the first to be second!"
Wayne Rankin, one of the fathers of modern Australian graphic design bought 900 pixels in the MillionDollarCu.be to link to his own website saying, "I like the spirit of the Cu.be. Grabbing peopleâ€™s attention takes that kind of audacity."
Will he succeed? Mr Black seems supremely confident in the face of considerable scepticism, but the cheery Australian points out that the MillionDollarCu.be continues to grow and sell pixels, and he's living up to his promise of applying creativity to the problem - not a week has gone by without some new feature or twist being added to the site.
"And now, with 1 pixel ads selling for just $1 in the MillionDollarCu.be, it's a no-brainer to be a part of making internet history again", said Mr Black. "Watch this space!"