Excite seeks shop for pounds 40m European push

Excite, the US internet search engine, is seeking a European agency to handle its pounds 40 million advertising account as it gears up to expand across the Continent.

Excite, the US internet search engine, is seeking a European agency

to handle its pounds 40 million advertising account as it gears up to

expand across the Continent.



The company has seen presentations from two London-based agencies and a

decision is imminent. The successful agency will create a branding

campaign that is intended to spearhead the company’s European expansion

plans.



Part of the agency’s brief will be to position the site as a consumer

brand which operates beyond the confines of the worldwide web, targeting

a web audience that is now more sophisticated and ready to accept web

companies as rounded consumer brands.



Excite’s European advertising has until now been confined to the UK with

the incumbent agency Henry Cole being used to adapt US campaigns for the

European market.



The US account is split between Branded Limited and Lowe Lintas &

Partners. This relationship is unaffected.



’Excite wants to have its own European agency rather than one that is

just adapting the US work,’ a company spokeswoman said, ’but Henry Cole

did some great work last year and we intend to continue working with

them.’



The last advertising campaign for Excite to run in the UK positioned the

site as an ’easy to use service for non-techies’. The new agency will be

expected to continue to position the site as funky but technical, one

that is both easy to use and relevant to consumers’ lives.



The TV ads featured a series of embarrassing situations real people find

themselves in, such as a man on a bus who discovers yesterday’s

underpants down the leg of his trousers and an executive who

inadvertently covers his face with ink from a leaky pen.



The ads were designed to suggest that ordinary people who make mistakes

can improve their lives by using Excite.



The site was launched by six Stanford University graduates as Architext

Software in 1994. The company changed its name to Excite and launched

its search engine service on the web in 1996. Last year BT acquired a 50

per cent stake in Excite UK.



Excite aims to float its European operation on the London or Frankfurt

stock exchanges before the end of the year.



Topics