Whomever said that advertising won't make people change their habits was wrong and we all know it. Pingdom set out to prove it. Pingdom is a site monitoring service and they are Firefox fans, they even built a Firefox extension called Mr Uptime released around the same time as this campaign.
The idea is simple, all users who went to Pingdom with Firefox were offered one free year Pingdom, but those who were driving other browsers met a banner stating the obvious "You are NOT running Firefox" and asking them to pay, while alerting them to the possibility of getting their pingdom for free.
The interesting part is that 23% of the people who arrived there driving IE came back with Firefox. I guess if there's enough of an incentive people will change browsers. Either way, it's clever way to get people to write about pingdom, ain't it?
No, Firefox didn't pay pingdom for the help in boosting their downloads. I've asked Peter at Pingdom for more info (and possibly graphs) on how they churned their logs to sift out these numbers, so perhaps I'll have some more pretty pictures in this post soon.