Solving the pixel puzzle: Young entreupreuner has the answers.

February 17, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The pixel advertising phenomenon has come a long way since Alex Tew created his Million Dollar Homepage in late 2005. Amongst the many thousand uninspired copycat websites that followed, none produced anything matching the original creativity of Tew’s idea. Now a fellow British twenty-something aims to change that by introducing on his website a world first – advertising you can play.

The Pixelword is the world’s first ever ‘tactical pixel advertising game’; a hybrid of a pixel advertising site and a crossword. It is the very first ever example of the pixel advertising genre that offers interactivity and tactics – all within a site which has real interactive content.

James Kearsley – the site’s creator, coined the idea in early 2006 after visiting the countless repeats of Tew’s Million Dollar Homepage only to find that - besides from a few differing layouts – none actually attempted to take this novel method of advertising beyond it’s creators original concept. He was sick at the lack of originality that seemed ripe amongst the clones, since none offered any kind of innovation or serious progression. Now with his idea, James attempts to push the pixel advertising genre to the next level.

Users and advertisers take part by buying letters. It’s cheaper for an advertiser to buy a letter if they know it, so from the start this encourages people to play, which is where the advertising kicks in. The act of trying to answer a word (using the clues provided) requires that you roll your mouse over adverts already placed. As you move over an advert, the letter underneath is revealed and a blurb pops up about the advertiser who owns that letter.

Not only is James’ the first website in the world to offer interactive pixel advertising, but it is the first ever to offer tactics to all those who wish to use it, since different parts of the crossword will have different value to advertisers as the puzzle progresses. “Think of it this way,” says James, “it makes more sense to buy a letter on a word not yet completed, since more people are likely to scroll over your advert. Letters that exist at junctions, or at the start of words will have a greater value. Once a word is completed – people are going to want to know what it is. Curiosity sells. They’ll just have to check back to find the answers as the puzzle progresses!”

And that’s what gives James’ website an edge over all the other imitations. Visitors have a real reason to go to the site in the first place and a real reason to return. What currently brings people to attend pixel advertising sites – pages of nothing but adverts – is simply the novelty of it. Questions are asked about this method of advertising: How long until this novelty dies out? What will happen to these sites when they are full up with just adverts and people get bored of it? Who wants to visit a page of just adverts anyway?

“Advertising should be fun and intriguing. It should inspire peoples curiosity and engage their minds- unlike popups!” muses James. “I’ve created a puzzle that’s easy in places and hard in others. It’s fun for everyone to play, from casual visitors to serious advertisers. It’s meant to be something light hearted and enjoyable and there are serious rewards involved for those who manage to solve it.”

Once the puzzle is completed, he plans to give visitors the option of turning the letters on or off (whilst retaining the adverts) in order to allow follow-on visitors to play the game just as the previous visitors did, helping the site to retain its original attraction.

James guarantees to offer advertising on his site, by way of a fixed fee, for a minimum of 5 years.

To visit and play the game for yourself, go to

About James Kearsley:

James is a self-employed designer and graphic artist based in Camberley, Surrey, UK.


James Kearsley
Excite Media Ltd
+44(0)7800 545999