Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Seriously Yahoo, What's This Rebranding All About?

Yahoo took their rebranding to the streets recently with a bunch of lame spots that look like they could have come from any point in the existence of the internet. I really don't know what they were thinking that personalizing a homepage and saving search information would be the thing to bring people back from iGoogle or The New York Times or any other popular homepage. Personalization had been a staple selling point of ISPs like AOL or Prodigy, why bring that back?

I can understand that as Bing is being introduced into the Yahoo platform they may be able to say that a user will have better ads served while searching, but this doesn't come close to that. Moreover, if there is one lesson to be learned in the search engine wars it's that better ads do not attract users, it's just better searches.

Finally, the some of the models selected for this campaign look like American Apparel ads without the ironic 80s porn vibe, which is what barely makes American Apparel interesting. (In fact, they are now using real porn stars thus making their ads even less ironic. I was going to put a link to the ad, but I decided to avoid the porn searching traffic so just look it up at Google Images, you cannot miss it.) So, here we have Yahoo trying to hit on this concept while still attempting to keep it family friendly. Maybe my mind is buried too deeply in the cognitive dissonance of the advertising world, but what in this campaign is bringing minds back to Yahoo? Why do they think that this reduction to vague simplicity is going to win back users?

Apparently, I am not alone in my disdain for this campaign as Advertising Age reported today that Yahoo has brought in Goodby Silverstein & Partners to help move this thing in the right direction.

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