Photos can now be shopping links, too

Pixazza was born in August and plans to expand this year. Pixazza was born in August and plans to expand this year. (Associated Press)
Associated Press / April 13, 2009
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NEW YORK - Inspiration comes in many forms, and in the case of James Everingham, it appeared as a pair of knockoff Christian Dior shoes.

His vision ultimately became Pixazza, an online advertising start-up that converts photos on websites into interactive advertisements. Mouse over an image, and tiny price tags appear; hover on top of one, and a balloon pops up with images and links to similar items you can buy online.

Even Google Inc. is interested: The online advertising and search leader, through its new venture-capital fund, is among those that have invested a combined $5.8 million in the firm.

Everingham came up with the idea after his wife spent hours figuring out what shoes "Sex and the City" star Sarah Jessica Parker was wearing in a photo ($1,000 Christian Diors) and hours more looking for a similar, cheaper version. They sifted through blogs and spotted comments from consumers who also wanted to buy what the celebrities wear.

Why not find a way to bring the products to them? After all, ads work best if they don't resemble ads but rather a feature to help shoppers find items they aim to buy. Pixazza was born in August. For now, it focuses on fashion but plans to expand to categories like travel, sports and home design.