Evi was a conversation-driven search engine and app competitor to Apple’s Siri. Though Evi featured robust functionality such as the ability to add personalized information to Evi’s knowledge base, it was launching from a small UK company in a saturated space, with Apple as its main competitor.
Our bold strategy was to launch Evi as “Siri’s smarter sister” while giving the entire launch exclusive to a tactically selected TechCrunch journalist.
The flattering coverage triggered an onslaught of organic downloads in both the US and UK, making Evi the #1 downloaded app for nearly a month. This attention brought Evi a new challenge: Six weeks after launch, Apple told Evi’s developers that Evi was to be removed from the App Store because it was “too similar” to Siri. We immediately assembled a case noting this was an ongoing practice by Apple in restraint of trade and presented it to the same TechCrunch reporter whose resulting article led to Evi downloads achieving all-new heights. Within two days, the antipathy towards Apple had grown so strong that Apple backed off its plan to remove Evi. Evi caught the attention of Amazon, which later acquired Evi to make its technology the core of Amazon Alexa.