The winner of Echelon’s India satellite, Hoverr, caught my eye. Their business is about putting ads in front of websites’ images; what they do is analyze what’s in the image and then serve a targeted ad. For example, if the photo is about a car, why not serve an ad for the latest BMW. People don’t look at banner ads in the usual places but they do look at a story’s photos, so not only can the ad be more compelling it can also have prominent placement.
It’s an interesting idea. I wanted to vote for them to win Echelon until they freely admitted they were a copycat, and about the fifth or sixth to the market too. You can’t win a start-up competition by being a clone, can you?
I recently saw such an ad — I don’t know if it was Hoverr’s or one of their competitors’ — and I almost coughed up my drink when I saw it.