Mozilla Taps Filmmakers For Firefox

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Mozilla
Mozilla "Firefox Flicks"
Who needs an advertising agency? Certainly not Mozilla, whose immensely popular Firefox web browser roared past the 100 million download mark less than a year after its 2004 launch—all on the strength of word-of-mouth buzz from satisfied customers and grassroots marketing efforts by the volunteer-based Spread Firefox community. "We realized very early in the game that financially, there was no way on earth we could compete in the advertising sphere with Microsoft, our premier competitor in the browsing space," says Mozilla community coordinator Asa Dotzler. "But we realized that traditional advertising campaigns essentially bombard consumers through massive repetition, because people now have a defense mechanism against this kind of mainstream marketing, and it takes an awful amount of repetition to get something through. But when it's your friend or your mom or your neighbor telling you that something is good, you don't have to be bombarded."

Following that successful formula, Mozilla once again turned to the 15,000 members of Spread Firefox to spread the word on the Firefox Flicks Ad Contest, a new marketing campaign that calls on aspiring filmmakers and creative professionals to create 30-second spots celebrating the browser's merits. Explains Dotzler, "We wanted to get with the state of film in marketing today and invite our community to participate in something that allows them to bring Firefox to life through video, animation and other creative media." Mozilla will accept submissions until March 31, and an all-star panel of judges representing the advertising, film and television industries—including StrawberryFrog chief creative officer Scott Goodson, Charlie's Angels director McG and Six Feet Under actor Freddy Rodriguez—will choose the three grand prize winners in mid-April. "One of the goals of this project is to let people in our community with various backgrounds and interests get some interaction and exposure with professionals in all of these industries," says Dotzler. "And we think we've got a wonderful lineup of judges to help with that."

Even before the winners are announced, Mozilla plans to give visitors to the Firefox Flicks website a glimpse into the submission process. "In the next month, we'll start doing a lot of interaction with a few of the teams, and maybe post some interviews and podcasts on our blog to share the development of these ads," says Dotzler.
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