Campaign: Freeserve man unveils internet history eraser

To help those who want to hide the fact that they have been visiting inappropriate websites at work or at home, Freeserve founder Ajaz Ahmed created Browzar.

Campaign Launch of Browzar
Client Browzar
PR team Chameleon PR
Timescale August-September 2006
Budget Undisclosed

It is a downloadable software program that instals automatically, does not require registration, and de-activates a computer's web history.

Once set up, Browzar leaves no trace of where the user has been online, what they have been up to or what they have bought.

Chameleon PR was hired on a project basis to communicate the benefits of Browzar to ordinary internet users as a way of maintaining their privacy and security.

Objectives
To launch Browzar globally and drive trials of the software among general internet users.

Strategy and Plan
To ensure the story went out on the wires to technology, business and consumer publications, Chameleon sent out a press release announcing Browzar’s arrival on launch day – 31 August – by global news feed. This information was backed up with examples of embarrassing situations that the software could have prevented, such as one businessman who, thanks to default internet settings, was embarrassingly outed by colleagues as an Atomic Kitten fan.

Chameleon then created a B-roll to explain the software. The footage accompanied photography and background information, all made available to journ­alists in an online file. Ahmed undertook a series of interviews with, among others, Channel 4 News and Reuters. Because bloggers were also targeted, the launch created a lot of chat among the online tech­nology community.

However, an anonymous blogger posted a claim on web3.0log that Browzar was a piece of ‘adware’ that attached identifying codes without the user’s knowledge. Because social bookmarking sites such as Del.cio.us and Digg also reported the ill-founded claim – causing it to appear higher up in online search rankings – Chame­leon decided to fight back. It sent responses to traditional and online media, as well as putting Ahmed forward for further interviews.

The team also posted verification by software hub Softpedia that Browzar was free of adware, malware, spyware and viruses.

Measurement and Evaluation
The launch was covered by The Daily Telegraph, Channel 4 News and The Scotsman, plus ABC Radio in the US, PC World India and IT News Australia.

It was also featured by technology news group IDG, Reuters, publisher VNU and science/tech site The Register. BBC Online and Guardian Unlimited covered Ahmed’s denial of the anonymous blogger’s claims.

Results
Within the first week of launch there were 226,000 downloads of the software in 192 countries, and more than 12 million mentions on Google.

Following an interview with Ahmed, Browzar was the top tech story on BBC Online for five consecutive days.

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