Australia may have bowed out of this year's World Cup but vuvuzela fans show no sign of ending their sonorous dirge, according to two online entrepreneurs responsible for bringing the horn to the masses.
Oron Barber and Eilon Arad operate buy-vuvuzela.com from their hotel room in Israel. The pair created the web site to connect buyers and sellers of the ubiquitous trumpet more than a year ago, which they envisaged would be an icon of the 2010 FIFA World Cup held in South Africa.
Their predictions came to fruition and they have since sold tens of thousands, a venture they admit has made them rich.
But, as Barber says, the pair could have easily finished with a warehouse full of plastic trumpets.
“I must admit it was a risk we took as they could [have] banned the vuvuzela, leaving us with nothing, but if you don't take risks you will never succeed,” Barber said.
“About a year ago we sat together and brainstormed new ideas. We thought about the upcoming World Cup and decided to do research until we found some information about the vuvuzela. We decided to go for it.”
Barber and Arad are not the only ones pushing vuvuzelas online, but they say they have been the most successful.
Their secret is a large network of suppliers and a knack for search engine optimisation, which they used to ensure their website appears at the top of Google search results for ‘vuvuzela’, or ‘buy vuvuzela’.
It took Barber and Arad about three months to set up the site, find manufacturers and promote it through search engines.
The Internet is the duo’s bread and butter: They build and promote websites for companies designed to be attractive to specific audiences, and attain a higher page rank across the world’s most popular search engines.
“Don't be scared of competition, think global not local, and don't be afraid to take risks,” Barber advises those looking to make a living off similar schemes.
He admits the vuvuzela is “a bit annoying” but said the trumpet is a memorable hallmark of the global soccer tournament.
He points those “stuck with a vuvuzela” to the vuvuzelafun, where you can learn how to reappropriate the horn into a plant irrigation system, a motorbike exhaust, or a yard glass. Digital filters are also available for soccer fans watching the game at home