• Brief Overview
  • History
  • Reasons for Using the Widget
  • Limitations
  • Cost
  • Reach and Frequency
  • Scheduling
  • Impact
  • Audience Qualities
  • Responsiveness to the Widget
  • Examples of Widgets
  • References

are small applications, most often free, that appear on your [computer or] phone’s menu page. [4] They deliver everything from video to games, news headlines to music, messages in ways that not only inform but engage consumers

Four Score and Seven Widgets ago...

The concept of desktop “ornaments” originated in 1981 when the original Macintosh system arrived. Not until 1996, Netscape Navigator allowed a desktop user to personalize their homepage. However, not until 2000 was there a big breakthrough in custom desktop objects.[7] Finally, over the past few years consumers have been accepting widgets into their personal belongings such as their computers and cell phones. With the mass usage of the application, the widget may be the next best thing in advertising since Facebook.

WWWD? What Would Widgets Do?
A widget is a small investment that can generate large gains in terms of ROI. [1] It has a much longer lifetime value than other types of media. The advertisement can be placed within widgets themselves, as opposed to sidebar banner ads which are frequently ignored. [2] Advertisers have their messages live where the user is actively engaging, thus making it much more likely to view and interact with. [2] The consumer can pick up the widgets and make it part of their own personal distribution network.

Widget, we have a problem.

The widget requires action from the user. If there is no interaction, the message the advertiser is attempting to send is useless. Also, the consumer may be more interested in the widget itself, not the brand. [1] A widget requires lots of maintenance. It must remain fresh and up to date, or the advertisement may fall behind and lose credibility. [3] It is hard enough to target a narrow audience, so with the widget being a one-on-one medium, the brand must find a way to build that type of relationship with the web or mobile community. [3]

Economy is tight; Widgets are FREE!

A big factor of widgets is that they are FREE for users. In today’s world, the cheaper the better, and with widgets being free, it is more likely to grab attention from a bigger amount of consumers. Cellular providers have applications that are costly and could have consumers end up with big bills each month. The widget helps to avoid paying for news or sports packages that go for $5, $10, $20 or even more.

Widgets, Gadgets and Apps, OH My!

comScore [6] has developed a third party service to measure the reach. In 2007, nearly 178 million web users worldwide are reached by widgets. [3] After two years, the numbers have grown and widgets are becoming more and more of a big time medium for advertisements.

Widgets, widgets, Where art thou widgets?

Again, widgets require action from the user. Therefore, a widget is there whenever the user is. Due to the options of mobile, desktop and web widgets, it varies. The widget is constantly there whenever someone is on their computer, on the web or on their cell phone. With the usage of technology so high, widgets are a very appropriate way to get a message out.

Widgs a whatget?

Forming a content relationship between a business and it’s client is very important in making an impact on the consumer. The widget helps to create this relationship, due to the user choosing the widget under his or her conditions. [3]

For example, these widgets advertising Purina dog food create a bond between "dog lovers" and Purina, a successful dog food company.

40664-shot.jpg yahoo_widget.png

Do you want some cheese with that widget?

The widget tends to meet a generic customer rather than those tied to a specific brand. [1] However, the widget does require some technology-savvy qualities. A widget needs to be downloaded or applied on a file on the computer. Without the knowledge to do these tasks, a widget will never reach the consumer.

Widget....Widget, can you hear me?

On the one side, one can say widgets ‘are a bit gimmicky or one-dimensional- they wouldn’t encourage people to use them and keep doing so.’ [1] However, others can believe that widgets are advertising of the future. With one-on-one relationships with the consumer and daily interaction, the widget can say the message and say it loud!

PLUSMO is a free service that lets a customer have access to over 20,000 widgets to run on their phone.
WIDGETBOX is the leading self-service web widget platform that help people express, connect, create and inform the usage of widgets.

OPERA widgets are handy small programs which you can download free and use on your desktop, mobile phone or TV.

To start off in simple widget terms, say a consumer is interested in skiing. This consumer can grab a widget sporting constantly updated information on snow conditions in Colorado and drop it into his or her phone, desktop, blog, social-networking site or site page. [3] The options are endless: from video to games, news headlines to music, eBay bids to bible verses, there is a widget for you.

The Weather Channel features several different types of widgets to use. Now the weather can be in your back pocket!


ESPN widgets can keep you up to date with latest scores, breaking stories and stats.

Widgets can serve as coupons, promotional offers or other discount specials. Now you can find the best prices almost anywhere!

1. Fitzsimmons, Caitlin. “Making Your Widget Stand Out.” Promotions and Incentive. LexisNexis Academic. 1 October 2008. http://www.lexisnexis.com.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T7816803948&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T7816803951&cisb=22_T7816803950&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=235906&docNo=2
2. Catone, Josh. “Clearsping Launches Widget Ad Network.” ReadWriteWeb. 10 December 2007. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/clearspring_launches_widget_ad_network.php
3. Brunelli, Richard. “Widgets Gone Wild.” LexisNexis Academic. 10 December 2007. http://www.lexisnexis.com.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T7816819130&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T7816819133&cisb=22_T7816819132&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=7907&docNo=5
4. Tofel, Kevin C. “Soup Up Your Cellphone.” LexisNexis Academic. 29 November 2007. http://www.lexisnexis.com.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T7816824945&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T7816824948&cisb=22_T7816824947&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=6742&docNo=3
5. Ives, Nat. “Just In Case My Boss Asks Me During A Meeting, What Exactly Does ‘Widget’ Mean?” LexisNexis Academic. 17 March 2008. http://www.lexisnexis.com.www.libproxy.wvu.edu/us/lnacademic/results/docview/docview.do?docLinkInd=true&risb=21_T7816825983&format=GNBFI&sort=RELEVANCE&startDocNo=1&resultsUrlKey=29_T7816825990&cisb=22_T7816825988&treeMax=true&treeWidth=0&csi=8093&docNo=1
6. Lipson, Andrew. “’comScore Widget Metrix’ Service Launched to Track Widget Usage Across The Web.” 13 June 2007. Press Release on comScore.com. http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2007/06/comScore_Launches_Widget_Metrix/%28language%29/eng-US
7. Kennedy, Niall. “A Brief Widget History.” 27 September 2007. Weblog. http://www.niallkennedy.com/blog/2007/09/widget-timeline.html