I-RECALL: Behind the Hype - A web search engine with a difference A search engine that has a novel approach to listings offers enticing incentives

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

using Espotting.

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.


Excellent prospects

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.