Endangered Red Pandas Threaten to Take the Internet by Storm

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December 7, 2010; Source: Slashdot.org | Mozilla, the nonprofit behind the popular internet browser Firefox, has cooked up a new marketing scheme for the debut of Firefox 4—live mascots. They’ve given several endangered red pandas (aka firefoxes) a home and a webcam, so supporters can check in on the little animals any time they’d like. You can get a preview in the video below.

It’s clear that Mozilla knows their audience, and how their message will spread if they cater to their supporters. Their aptly chosen mascot is proof to this end. “The cubs aren’t just insanely adorable,” Mozilla writes. “They represent our mascot, our values and the fact that we’re a little different.”

It’s a softer sell than the stereotypical, frustrated IT guy routine; instead of the “friends don’t let friends use Internet Explorer” attitude, Mozilla’s copywriting highlights their efforts to promote openness, innovation, and opportunity on the web, and the company has hooked up with the Knoxville Zoo and the Red Panda Network to show that they’re out to make the world (online and off) a better place.

Plus, there’s incentive—the more people download the new Firefox, the more toys the red pandas get. Would you try a new browser to help an endangered panda?—James David Morgan