"the world needs more laughter"
or
"apparently society isn't ready for men in the kitchen"

Andy Warhol said, "In the future, everybody will have their own 15 minutes of fame."
FakeMustaches.Org is a place where anybody can be the star on the cover
for about 24 hours.

Because the whole website is sized for myspace syndication,
it currently exists in over a hundred locations online instead of just one.
People can easily copy the provided code into their myspace profile,
enabling them to see a different fake mustache pic almost everyday.
It is becoming a viral sensation that may eventually exist in thousands
if not hundreds of thousands of locations.

The implications for this kind of design are being realized as we speak.
The very product is the advertisement.
And yet the whole idea started as just a simple ad for GonzoPj.Net!
In all my years on myspace, I have never seen anybody attempt anything remotely like this.

Case Study:
the first 7 days of FakeMustaches.Org
May 3-9, 2006

Please note that these figures only represent viewers that came directly
to FakeMustaches.Org and not the 1000's of other people who
have accessed the site from myspace.

Geo Location:

Overview:

Referrers:

At the time of this writing:
Most hits have been direct, meaning most people have accessed the site by typing in the address or via bookmarks.
They could be coming from word of mouth, or from people who have seen the online commercials,
or repeat visitors curious about today's 'stache.
Second on the list are hits from myspace bulletins which are messages that go out to all your friends.
Whenever I send out a bulletin, it goes out to over 1700 people.
Note that the 31 people that hit the site probably clicked on the self-linking button
in the bottom-lefthand corner and that the amount of people that saw the site actually embedded
into the bulletins is a much higher yet incalculable number.
The $50 ad banner I purchased on facebook so far has only yielded me less than 30 hits.
Next on the list are hits coming from people's myspace profiles;
these are people with the site embedded into their profile or in their comments section.
And fourthly, the one post I put out on Lightstalkers on May 5 yielded me 23 hits.
Note the slight discrepancies between analytics and 1and1.com's built in web statistics.
This is because they both track using different methods.

Top 8 GonzoPhotoJournalism.Com Referrers:

FakeMustaches.Org has indeed become the largest source of hits for GonzoPj.Net.

May 5:
(review from sionphoto.blogs.com)

May 9:
(myspace examples)

May 9:
(selection of submitted photos)


Complete strangers have been sending me fake mustache pictures.

Explorer Destroyer:

While it may seem ludicrous to block out roughly 80% of people to your website,
I have been making enough money from google to pay for all my server costs.
The numbers say that only 8 people downloaded firefox out of 740 people that were prompted to.
Certainly not practical;
But if through sheer numbers you could get 100 people to download firefox everyday,
you could clear almost $100 a day.
If people are curious enough to see what your site is all about (e.g. "fake mustaches?") they will use firefox.


Note the atypical percentage of people using firefox if they have too;
Normally, internet explorer users push about 76% or more of users.
I attribute this to people that already have both internet explorer and firefox
installed on their computers.
They just still use IE more often until prompted not to.

Online Video Stats:


The "fashion" commercial was served 170 times from the website.
The "kitchen" commercial that required you click one more button to see,
was only served 34 times from the website.
Both videos have received a minimal amount of downloads from the site and from google video.
Case in point: the more buttons you have to click to see something,
the less hits it will get, hands down.

Economic Implications:

I plan on designing t-shirts and bumper stickers as well as selling fake mustaches.
One such design will feature the Statue of Liberty wearing a fake 'stache.
If I can sell 10 t-shirts a day at a profit of $10 a unit
then I can make enough money to live on.
Or if I can sell 100 'staches a day at a $2 profit per unit
I could clear over a grand a week just selling mustaches.
If I can sell even more, then I can hire somebody to take care of everything
and just do art and news stories that I want to do in my free time probono
without having to work for the man or fuel the corporate/bureaucratic machine.

Opinions/Conclusions:

Freedom of speech does not nearly exist on cable television to the extent that it does online.
Most everything on television is fake and contrived.
Insight Media refused to air my fakemustaches.org commercials in Louisville, KY for part of this assignment.
While I have no hard validated stats to reference:
I believe an amount of money spent in online advertising can be more effective
than the same amount of money spent in cable advertising.
Especially for smaller businesses and ebay-type folk.
Traditional TV advertising cannot succeed online because people have
the choice to tune out all the bullshit that is typically fed to them on television.
I never felt like I was floating in a beautiful landscape when I took prozac.
Instead of repetitively bombarding people on television with flashy and brainwashing images of fantasy,
online video ads must be short and more appealing to people's curiosity.
You have to give people an excuse to even want to watch your ads.

"Death to Ignorance"