Espotting, an online search engine with a difference, was launched
six months ago. Brands that wish to be listed on the Espotting site must
bid for listings placement.
The more they bid, the higher they will be listed in customers' search
In turn, advertisers listed on the site are only charged for the traffic
that the listings direct to their site. As an extra incentive, surfers -
or 'spotters' - are rewarded in 'spots' for the searches they carry out
Characteristics Pastel blue, red and white are the staple colours of
Espotting and the simple approach works very well. It's simple and
functional, yet tasteful and good-looking. The target symbol works well
as the brand's logo and communicates clearly what it is that Espotting
does. Daily prize draws and competitions provide an extra incentive for
users to make this site their daily search engine. Weekly e-mails from
the online brand provide a reminder of the many prizes that are up for
grabs in the site's weekly draw. Users are entered for the draw if they
have accrued enough 'spots'.
Principals Espotting was founded by Daniel Ishag, who was previously an
investment banker, and Seb Bishop. Bishop was a Campaign Face To Watch
in 1998. He and his creative partner at the time, James Burrows, were
responsible for launching Coca-Cola in Russia while they were working at
Publicis. Burrows is the editorial director at Espotting.
Funding The start-up was funded by its founders.
Marketing The Espotting search engine technology has been incorporated
into a number of strong online brands, including Ask Jeeves, Dotmusic
and UK Plus. Offline, the company ran a number of outdoor ads on buses
and the London Underground, fronted by Bishop himself. Very cost
effective. If you've got it, well, you might as well flaunt it,
Competitors Goto.com is probably the closest thing on the web to this
idea and it was launched before Espotting.
THE YEAR AHEAD
This is a strong idea and it is good to see that it hasn't wasted
millions on traditional advertising. Building its presence online is
smart for a company whose success depends on its online reach.