Firefox Flicks Winners

The winners of the Firefox Flicks contest were announced a few days ago and I must say that, overall, I’m less than impressed with the quality of the submissions and not entirely thrilled about the selected winners.

I thought Daredevil was quite good, but it seems to be missing something. The music was very good and it was very well filmed, but the girl with very strong american accent may not have the clearest and easiest voice to understand, particularly for non-native English speakers.

It was one of the few submissions that didn’t just use scare tactics by focussing on viruses, spyware and pop-ups, and stayed well clear of the “use Firefox or your screwed” message that was so abundant among the others; but rather thought outside the box and focussed on a lifestyle metaphor.

One thing that it is lacking, however, is that it doesn’t create brand recognition as well as it needs to at this early stage. I feel it needed to say something at the end to help the user understand the metaphor and relate it, and the brand, to the web – we don’t want people thinking Firefox is just some kind of surfboard.

Wheee! was, by far, the most popular of the submissions—it’s funny, childish and creates brand recognition by associating the Firefox logo with something users are already familiar with: the IE logo, as well as Safari and Netscape.

However, the message that comes across, in not quite so many words, is that other browsers suck and I generally don’t agree with such marketing tactics. While that is arguably true of IE—in many respects, it does suck—I don’t believe that ridiculing your competitors is an honourable marketing strategy and should not be condoned.

As many people mentioned in the comments, it is catchy and a lot of people have been talking about it, which is actually one of the major aims of any advertisement. For this reason, I do feel it deserves an honourable mention, but because of the other reasons, I don’t believe it deserved second place.

As for Fox Fever, it just screams low budget crap! I have no idea how this managed to make the top 3, I didn’t even expect it to receive an honourable mention. Like so many others, it also suffers by focussing on viruses, spyware and pop-ups, which I don’t like because it surrounds Firefox with negativity. When people think of Firefox, they should think about the positive experience, not the negatives of using an alternative.

It also creates a false sense of security: Firefox is not flawless, it has its share of security holes and it certainly does not block all pop-ups. Even with all the preferences I’ve changed to prevent as many pop-ups as possible, a few still make it through and it’s still quite annoying.

This is Hot is one that really does deserve an honourable mention, though I really did expect it to be in the top 3. Overall, this ad was fantastic. The concept, the animation, the positive message it conveys: just brilliant!

Last, but not least, Give Me the Soap was cute. Like Daredevil, it too thought outside the box and came up with a beautiful concept. But the ad itself is not suitable for Firefox, it really does create the wrong impression about what Firefox does and I feel this submission would be more suitable for a program like Ad-aware, Spy-bot or perhaps even some AntiVirus software. Firefox does not clean your computer like those programs do, but that is the message conveyed to the viewer by the soap analogy. I feel this one does deserve its honourable mention and, rightfully so, did not deserve to win.