CAMPAIGN-I: Perspective - E-wannabes don’t have the first idea

Roll up! Roll up! Hands up who wants to be an e-millionaire! Despite the roller- coaster ride that the internet industry has endured over the past 18 months, every man and his dog still seems to have an internet start-up idea.

Roll up! Roll up! Hands up who wants to be an e-millionaire!

Despite the roller- coaster ride that the internet industry has endured

over the past 18 months, every man and his dog still seems to have an

internet start-up idea.



Yes, it seems that money and fame are still the best incentives to

kick-start people into action, and this week’s Who Wants To Be An

E-Millionaire? on Channel 4 has been rifling through the cream of Joe

Bloggs’ start-up fancies. Despite the fact that, for anyone in the

industry, dotcom start-ups are now somewhat passe, eager e-wannabes have

been pitching their dotcom business ideas in the hope of winning the

Holy Grail of pounds 2 million funding to get their scheme off to a

flying start.



And it’s not just the business plans that are under the spotlight. Five

ad agencies - Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, Euro RSCG Wnek

Gosper, Grey and HHCL & Partners - have been putting together

hypothetical poster creatives for each of the 15 finalists.



But no matter how sophisticated the marketing, it has to be said that

anyone with more than a scrap of web sense is likely to be decidedly

unimpressed with most of the entries.



Admittedly, online bedtime stories for kids is a cute idea at

bethereatbedtime.com, as is an online kids’ currency at earnies.com, but

it’s all been done before.



A chunk of the ideas seemed to have been spawned from sentimentality

rather than entrepreneurial flair and ambition - no less worthwhile but

hardly money spinners for those wanting to make some serious cash.



There were a few ideas that stood out from the crowd. A

business-to-business portal for hairdressers that is a one-stop supply

shop was one, although Hair2Hair.net is original only in its industry,

not as a concept. Youreable.com - a travel portal that aims to make

travel more accessible to those with physical disabilities - was

probably the most realistic and worthwhile idea and Grey’s poster for

the project was one of the most eye-catching. Saatchis’ creative for

Autofile was also refreshingly straightforward and to the point.



Most noticeable about the majority of the contestants was their

ignorance of the dotcom industry. A number of both the business pitches

and ad creatives mirrored those already in the public space. The lesson?

Look, listen and learn before you jump.



deborah.bonello@haynet.com.



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