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Firefox video campaign gaining steam

Short videos show people so entranced by the open-source browser, they do things like scream loud enough to crack office walls.

Video advertisements that depict people having extreme reactions to discovering Firefox are attracting a growing online audience.

The short videos show people getting so entranced by Firefox, the Mozilla Foundation's open-source browser, that they do things like scream loud enough to crack office walls and become distracted enough to take a bite out of a cell phone, as if it were a candy bar.

"The idea is to be funny and get people in interested in what Firefox is."
--Tristan Nitot
President, Mozilla Europe

The Mozilla Foundation said Thursday that the campaign had racked up nearly half a million hits in less than a week.

The campaign was launched last week by Mozilla Europe, the European affiliate of the Mozilla Foundation. It is already experiencing "very significant daily growth," despite a low-key launch from the blog of Tristan Nitot, the president of Mozilla Europe.

"This is just the beginning," Nitot said. "I only posted it on my personal blog, and it's already spreading nicely. We wanted to start small, as we were concerned that servers wouldn't be able to handle the load."

The videos had registered 300,000 hits by the end of the weekend, Nitot said, and were nearing 500,000 hits by Tuesday--the latest figures that were available on Thursday. The videos can be viewed at Funnyfox.org, a site set up by Mozilla Europe with help from the Pozz Agency.

"The idea is to be funny and get people in interested in what Firefox is," Nitot said.

Nitot said that Mozilla Europe did not have the money to pay for an advertisement on television, so instead the group decided to host the videos online and encourage Firefox fans to spread word of them by e-mail.


Firefox in the Times
(click to view)

Previous Firefox marketing campaigns included print ads in The New York Times and a German national newspaper, both of which were paid for by the open-source community. The Mozilla Foundation has also encouraged local marketing activities through the Spread Firefox Web site.

Ingrid Marson of ZDNet UK reported from London.