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Firefox New York Times Ad Hits the Presses 721

Dave writes "The long awaited New York Times ad for Firefox has finally hit the presses. Because of the vast number of donations the ad covered two pages of the newspaper. It's being timed to coincide with 11 million downloads."
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Firefox New York Times Ad Hits the Presses

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  • by gimpboy ( 34912 ) <> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:34AM (#11103577) Homepage
    Does anyone have a higher resolution image so I can actually read the names.
  • Cheers! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orevo ( 697682 ) * on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:34AM (#11103582) Homepage
    It'll be interesting to see exactly how much this (wonderfully designed) ad will affect the number of downloads over the next few days. Here's to hoping this makes a difference with all the Joe User's out there.
    • Re:Cheers! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by tgd ( 2822 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:41AM (#11103704)
      The question is, whats the penetration of awareness of Firefox already among the particular demographic that actually reads the NY Times outside of the NY area.

      I'd bet a large percentage of people likely to see the ad already are familiar with Firefox, considering how much media attention its gotten in magazines, NPR, etc over the last few months.

      This strikes me as more of a vanity move than a real marketing move. If the intent was to increase browser awareness, the NYT isn't the place to advertise it. People Magazine is, or the Enquirer, or other demographically focused rags like that which target demographics less likely to already be aware of Firefox.
      • I disagree.... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by dep01 ( 730107 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:02AM (#11104024) Homepage
        I disagree. It is true that there are a lot of web savvy users that read the NY Times, but, speaking from my experience of people I've migrated to Firefox, you'd be surprised about the number of them who had maybe *heard* of it, but hadn't given it enough thought to give it a try. Perhaps this will give them enough of a push in the right direction so that they will actually give it a try. It's hard to motivate someone to go out to a webpage and download a piece of software to replace an existing piece of software, especially when they still don't have a clear picture of how much better the replacement is. It's like convincing someone to change to a newer, better tasting cereal, when lots of them really are quite happy with the cereal they have... If only they'd try that new cereal, though, you know they'd be hooked.
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by rednip ( 186217 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:11AM (#11104137) Journal
        It's not just about advertising in the NY area, it's about getting it out to the media, making a splash. Many other media outlets will pick up the story and run it, as a story (without being paid). Hopefully it'll be an otherwise slow news day!
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clifyt ( 11768 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:12AM (#11104147)
        Why is that?

        I know I'm a Mac biggot and one of the excuses for not running Macs in a lot of schools is that its not what is run in businesses. This is also the excuse folks make for buying PCs as opposed to something more userfriendly for their situation -- I can run my business software at home with this so I can work virtual 100 hour a week jobs and get paid for 40 of them.

        When you look at that tact and realize the truth behind it, it only makes sense that you put this ad into a paper that is going to get inside the minds of the PHBs and others that will determine what is run at work. Get a change going on in the workplace, where users see that this is a superior experience, and you will prompts folks to run it at home. Unlike all the rest of their 'work' apps, this one is free and doesn't come with any requirements that the end user needs to think about.

        It then snowballs into everything else. When the parents running this realize they are paying property taxes to go to idiot school administrators (hmmm...I play one of those at times -- unfortunately, the apps I run *REQUIRE* IE because the field I'm in is so specialized we can't run to other platforms when its mandated that if you are an accredited institution, you will use the same tools as others in your field to validate and rank your populations), but the parents will complain that students are looking at porn and otherwise because of popups that aren't filtered at the firewall, and the schools will slowly change where they can.

        And once you get this, it becomes word of mouth everywhere else. Personally, I won't fix my friends PCs any more...when they get bogged down with spyware and otherwise, I send them to browsers like this (my sis could barely use her computer because of all the crap that was hooked into her IE install -- most of which came directly from the cable company that installed her broadband). Since telling her to download this (and several spyware removers -- the IE spyware actually hijacked her where she couldn't even visit specific pages like AdAware's homepage), she's had little to no problems.

        So, get it into the hands of the PHBs who will then make it a requirement that we use this, all the while thinking it was their good luck to see this, and why oh why didn't the geeks in the basement know about this years ago...
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Spacejock ( 727523 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:18AM (#11104234) Homepage
        This strikes me as more of a vanity move than a real marketing move.

        Appropriate. Don't forget, they appealed to people's vanity to raise the money. (And yes, my name's in the ad ;-)
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jerkychew ( 80913 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:21AM (#11104285) Homepage
        I don't think that increasing browser awareness was the number one goal here. I think that having a fullpage ad in a major publication like the NYT is a way for Firefox to show its validity as an alternative browser. They're trying to say that they're not just a small fly-by-night operation, but someone with the potential to take on the 800-pound gorilla that is Microsoft.

        Remember when Jobs came back to Apple, and they launched fullpage ads in the NYT, as well as Time and Newsweek? That wasn't meant to sell computers per se, it was meant to let the corporate world know that Apple was back. I think Mozilla is doing the same thing with this ad.

        It appears to be working, judging by the amount of free press [] they're getting from the event.
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by minkie ( 814488 )
        People who make decisions that matter (CEO's, CIO's, VP's of IT departments, etc) don't read People or The Enquirer. They read the NY Times. I'm sure they've all heard of Firefox, but seeing a full-page ad in the NY Times says, "This is real" in a language they understand.
      • by nlinecomputers ( 602059 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @12:02PM (#11104940)
        This strikes me as more of a vanity move than a real marketing move.

        I paid for my name to be put in the ad. I admit it was purely for personal business reasons. I support and install Firefox all the time for me clients that are constantly bogged down in spyware. Having an NYT ad that will be framed on my wall with my name on it gives this unheard of browser more credibility in the minds of my clients. Gives me some free press as well even if I have to point it out to people.
    • Re:Cheers! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Foogle ( 35117 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:59AM (#11103970) Homepage
      You know, it's not that wonderfully designed. It looks nice, but in terms of marketing there are some serious problems.

      The word "free" is only mentioned once and in tiny, tiny type. If I were reading the paper, and I didn't immediately avoid this ad in the first place, I would probably never see that reference. And, not knowing what Firefox is, I would assume there was a cost attached.

      The giant "1.0" is worthless. The audience that this ad is targeting can get nothing useful from this information. They may see it and say "Of course it's 1.0; it's 'introducing'". Or they may see it and say "Firefox is out of beta?", but then this is a waste of advertising space for them, because they're already the wrong demographic. At worst they will see it and say "1.0? My browser is already 6.0", which is the opposite effect.

      There's also very little quick information available to differentiate Firefox from the audience's existing browser. There's mention of pop-ups and a lack of crashing, but it's contained in boring testimonials and a tiny little afterthought paragraph that has the smallest text on the page.
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SpamJunkie ( 557825 )
        I'll add that it doesn't even look particularly nice. Too much italics for one thing, and that ragged edge on the left page seems particularly jarring.

        This is one of the few instances where justified type would look better. In this case, with a border on the right page, I think it would have looked much better. Then there is the way that the list of names only has a partial last line. This is easy to fix, anyone with experience designing for newspapers could think of several ways.

        I assume that there is to
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Wylfing ( 144940 ) <brian.wylfing@net> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:30AM (#11104431) Homepage Journal
        Good thing you're not running marketing for me.

        The word "free" is only mentioned once and in tiny, tiny type.

        There are quite a few marketing negatives that go along with the word "Free," especially for software, such as "lack of quality," "unsupported," and "spyware-laden." The ad gives it the importance it deserves.

        The giant "1.0" is worthless.

        Not so. It is used pretty well here, actually. First, it establishes that this is a real product. Second, it establishes that it's a new product, which underscores the marketing message of opting away from something stagnant and old for something fresh and new.

        There's also very little quick information available to differentiate Firefox from the audience's existing browser. There's mention of pop-ups and a lack of crashing, but it's contained in boring testimonials

        Now you're just showing ignorance. Marketing has specific, limited objectives. In this case, it's prompting the set of readers who are sick of IE but don't know about alternatives to get interested and check out the web site. That's all. Cramming the page with browser features does not support the objective. And by the way, "boring" testimonials are highly effective marketing tools.

        • While you are correct that effective marketing indeed has specific, limited objectives (and measureable results) -- this ad is definitely not one designed to prompt users sick of IE to check out the web site.

          I say this without seeing a creative brief [] for the ad, but it's purpose appears to simply be to announce the 1.0 release of Firefox, which it does well. The ad is nicely done in that respect.

          However, if it is intended to prompt users sick of IE to check out the site/new browser, it is poorly executed
      • Re:Cheers! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by fornaxsw ( 786473 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:42AM (#11104635)
        At worst they will see it and say "1.0? My browser is already 6.0", which is the opposite effect.

        This is brings out one of the greatest aspects of open source...they don't make something 1.0 until it really is a working version. Sure, closed source versions work and are generally higher quality than a non-1.0 open source project, but then they release 2.0, 3.0, 4.0 as if doling out candy on halloween. I don't know where I'm going with this, exactly, but I guess I just get a little peeved that users really will think version 999.0 of some closed source app is so much better than 1.0 of an open one.
    • Re:Cheers! (Score:4, Informative)

      by pbranes ( 565105 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @12:06PM (#11105001)
      Check out this google news search. Many many media outlets are already picking up on this and running it as a news story. That means that the monetary investment into the ad has paid off by growing into real news stories. q=firefox+new+york+times+ad&btnG=Search+News []

  • by YodaToo ( 776221 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:35AM (#11103593)
    ...we could start a fund raising project to run a full-page ad for Lynx []?
  • by Mondongo ( 43895 ) <> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:36AM (#11103609)
    One has to wonder, will 'Monkey' Ballmer and his gang of miscreants reply to this? Will we see a big 'IE. Get with the program.' on the next days? They cannot let this stand...

    • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:39AM (#11103672) Homepage Journal
      In 1995, IBM took out a four-page ad in the New York Times the day Windows 95 came out. It read, to start, "Pay No Attention to the OS Behind the Curtain." In four pages of graphics and text, IBM pointed out how OS/2 was so much better than Windows 95 would ever be.

      Being a big OS/2 advocate at the time (really) I was overjoyed by the ad. Microsoft never formally refuted the ad, and we all know how successful OS/2 would go on to be in the marketplace.
      • by plazman30 ( 531348 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @12:14PM (#11105107) Homepage
        I guess the fact that IBM was FORBIDDEN from pre-loading OS/2 on THEIR OWN PCs in order to sell Windows 3.1 and Windows 95 had NOTHING AT ALL to do with OS/2s demise. If you can't get an OS pre-loaded on a machine, and you're a business user, then you're not going to buy. Why spend money on 2 different operating systems.
  • by datbox ( 800756 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:36AM (#11103618)
    I can't get to the site (damn /.) but from the summary, it sounds like the ad went out today. I thought we (donaters) were supposed to get a little pre-warning before it went out so we could actually head out and buy the paper.

  • by k4_pacific ( 736911 ) <{k4_pacific} {at} {}> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:37AM (#11103637) Homepage Journal
    Spinning newspaper injures reporter.
  • Not very good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Trinition ( 114758 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:40AM (#11103691) Homepage
    I looked at the PNG linked to in the posting, and i have to say, I wasn't very impressed. It sounds like something written by a bunch of open source programmers.

    They refer to the people who've downloaded it as "users". While, yes, they are users, I think the majority of the web browsing population doesn't use the term "user" when referring to themselves. Something like "... 10 million people from around the world..." would've sounded less geek-like.

    Heck, a lot of people don't even separate the "web browser" as something that is distinct. They think of the web as the Internet, their monitor as their computer, their case as their hard drive, etc.

    The ad did focus on the spyware, crashes, etc. which is good -- but, IMHO, they just didn't do it in the "average computer users" tongue.
    • Re:Not very good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaffaKREE ( 766802 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:49AM (#11103818)
      You would prefer "Ten million people from around the world have downloaded the internet to their computer" ?

      That is what I call redundancy !
    • Re:Not very good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by IainMH ( 176964 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:50AM (#11103839)

      People aren't *complete* idiots. Anyone who doesn't understand 'user' probably doesn't understand any of the concepts involved.

      It's a self-policing system.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:43AM (#11103734)
    I love the ad! I especially like the hidden image on the first page (stare at the page long enough with uncrossed eyes and "IE Sucks" will appear in 3D). Was this a clever easter egg or just an attempt at semi-subtle subliminal advertising?
  • by Jonny Royale ( 62364 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:44AM (#11103743) Homepage Journal
    Here [] is a link to the folks behind the ad. Including a PDF version, a poster you can buy...and a place to put in the correction if they mis-typed your name.
  • How ironic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Timesprout ( 579035 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:48AM (#11103805)
    That an advertisement, usually despised here, on the NY Times, a paper which cannot be linked here without some childish comment regarding registration is now A Good Thing(TM) on /.
  • Wow!! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Jakhel ( 808204 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:49AM (#11103828)
    What do you guys think they used as the font/size for all those names? That's like EULA sized print!
    • Re:Wow!! (Score:4, Informative)

      by factoryjoe ( 838642 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @01:12PM (#11105835) Homepage
      Here are the final specs on the names:
      • Font: Univers Bold Condensed
      • Size/Line-height: 4.5pt/4.6
      • Tracking: -23
      This is slightly bigger than when the c|net article [] came out and MUCH bigger than when it was only one page!! In all my test prints, the names were fairly legible, and from what I hear, they look pretty good in the paper.
  • Security Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kunsan ( 189020 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:51AM (#11103858)
    What effect will Firefox's growing poularity have on its future vis-a-vis security? Does it become a more inviting target for malicious coders? Do any of you out there know if Firefox is written well enough to withstand such attention? I've been using Firefox since V.08. and I have watched with growing concern as its popularity has increased. Wether justified or not, I felt a little safer with this browser when less people were using it.

  • by WidescreenFreak ( 830043 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:51AM (#11103866) Homepage Journal
    I am thrilled that an open-source product has the popularity and support to achieve such an incredible goal. I don't remember any OSS product ever having so much exposure, Linux itself not withstanding.

    I personally have converted at least five people at work and several other friends to Firefox, all of whom have nothing but praise for it. Any web sites that I maintain now say "Designed for use with Firefox" with a link.

    Regarding the comments about "Who reads newspapers at this time of year" and so forth, you need to remember that the NYT is reprinted and read all over the world. This is not just a single newspaper in a single city. The NYT is also highly respected (not that it really deserves it), so a lot of people will read it.

    The next step IMHO should be USA Today. That too is a globally printed newspaper and usually has a different reader base than NYT.

    My only concern in that they might have set a precedence with including names of donors. Let's face it. How many of you who donated did so more (not only, but more) because of the "coolness" factor of having your name printed instead of the core purpose of supporting a great browser?
    • by GenetixSW ( 35311 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:10AM (#11104118)
      Okay, not bad, but I'll offer two cents: I think there's something inherently wrong with writing "Designed for use with Firefox" on a web page. Maybe "Designed with Web standards in mind", but the whole idea about Firefox is that it properly supports (most) Web standards. Suggesting that a website is designed for a particular browser implies that it may or may not work on other standards-compliant browsers, which in turn hurts Web standards.
  • by cparisi ( 136611 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:56AM (#11103935) Homepage
    Most of the readers will be unaware that Firefox does not suffer from the security problems that IE does. They may simply answer the question: "Are you fed up with your web browser?" with: "Nope. works fine"
  • Surprised (Score:3, Funny)

    by flynt ( 248848 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:58AM (#11103962)
    I was honestly surprised to see 'nothing to lose' instead of the more likely 'nothing to loose' in the ad.
  • by Reverend528 ( 585549 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @10:58AM (#11103963) Homepage
    This should do wonders for the NYT. I know I'm going to go out and buy a copy.
  • Patching system (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Grrreat ( 584733 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:00AM (#11103992)
    Mozilla needs a better way to get updates to Administrators. I love the product and use it all the time at home and work. I also mention it every chance I get. But it needs a way to get patches installed, instead of reloading the whole product or figuring out what files need replaced with a folder compare. What say ye!
  • by The-Perl-CD-Bookshel ( 631252 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:00AM (#11103993) Homepage Journal
    Regis Tration-Required
  • by revision1_1 ( 69575 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:31AM (#11104455) Homepage
    "Browser War Continues: Women, Minorities Hardest Hit."

  • by Lord Brandon ( 742830 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:50AM (#11104741)
    While this ad is ok, I have ask what do the second, third and fourth advertisement look like? When will they run? How long will they run?

    In order to market this product, perhaps a long term campaign that stresses all the ways Firefox will make interent browsing easier would be good.

    One ad can simply state: "No pop up ads. EVER" with the firefox logo and link to download it. Another ad could highlight the best, most useful extensions. I think the weather update/forecast extension would be perfect for this.

    Also: Are there ANY ads appearing on the NYT website, or any other high traffice website? This would make it easy to download the program.
  • Page #s (Score:3, Informative)

    by ioctl ( 19935 ) * <afward@g[ ] ['mai' in gap]> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @11:54AM (#11104822)
    For those who haven't seen it in print yet, the ad is on pages A34 & A35.
  • Throw away that tired old web browser! With Firefox you get SECURITY, STANDARDS Compliance, all in one easy payment of not $100, not $50, not $25, but, FREE. Yes it's free!
  • Wow. (Score:4, Funny)

    by Oliver Aaltonen ( 606410 ) <aaltonen@gmail. c o m> on Thursday December 16, 2004 @01:19PM (#11105944) Homepage
    A geek's true Christmas wish come true:

    First name on the ad!
  • Much wider exposure (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TransmissionX ( 688537 ) on Thursday December 16, 2004 @02:44PM (#11107295)
    Why not create a webpage with black and white ads for firefox in various sizes in PDF format. Then start a grassroots campaign where people inclined to donate could use those PDF files to take out small ads in local newspapers across the country. Prices of course vary but small black and white ads can be quite affordable for small newspapers which reach only a few thousand readers. I think such a campaign could dramatically increase exposure. ...just an idea.

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.