advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yahoo says it’s You.

I should just cut and paste the AOL rebranding story.

So, Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle* (Yahoo) rolled out their new campaign, putting the Eww in You? I KID. As you read the background on the new campaign, they don’t have plans to get rid of the “Yahoo!” shout, just “dust it off a bit” and freshen it up. They haven’t really improved their core product beyond improved search features. The main message here seems to be telling people they own the net.

Am I right? Because if I’m missing anything, lemmee know.

Regarding search, improvements are nice, but why steal Bing’s thunder? (Bing has increased its share of search to 9.3% up from 8% of the market while Yahoo has 19.3% to Google’s 64%.)

Regarding the message: Don’t people already “own” the net? Haven’t we all been running around self-empowering ourselves? (Ouch.) Granted, internet years don’t compare to any other category, but refreshing old icons works better when the brand has some heritage behind it, not the 15 Yahoo has under its belt since launching in 1994.

As for the Yee-HAW, I guess the devs were too busy pushing envelopes way back when to notice the Hillbilly quality to the battle cry may have been off in the first place. (As it is, they don’t seem to be addressing special cousin Flickr and its unintuitive, Facebook-like user experience.)

The use of the exclamation point already has some mileage on it courtesy of E! and feels forced with the you graphically.

The main imagery? Feels perfectly fine. 10 years ago. In Kohl’s. I haven’t seen the TV yet but I imagine XM covered off this theme better a few years ago too. Everyday people are nice, don’t get me wrong—I’m one you know—but it’s also nice to have Bowie on your side when you’re starting a pop culture revolution.

No time to get cheap and rely on stock photos: Get some celebrities on your side. That’s not just PR talking. If your position here is that the net belongs to the people, it isn’t taking into account the migration happening from TV to the net and how celebs have gotten over the perceived stigma of appearing online.

Yahoo’s problem goes beyond colorful backgrounds in my expert opinion. It’s the core problem any brand needs to address:

What are we?

Right now, they need to ask themselves that same basic question: “Are we search or former web portal turned cultural destination and community?”

Regardless of what bloggers say though, the brand will convince itself that the negative buzz already popping up is a mirage, like GM believes.

*Yes, that’s the actual meaning behind the acronym.

1 comment:

Jetpacks said...

"We Had 2 O's in Our Name Before You Know Who."

Sucks to be a search "giant" and have such a small stature.

I'm with George Parker: forget the others, Google is the future. They don't want to hear that, but they know it, hence all the scrambling to rebrand.