What's gotten into the portals these days? First Microsoft launches Bing with an over-the-top commercial essentially blaming the recession on Google. Now comes Yahoo with an ad that would have you believe it can make you into some sort of superhero, leaping tall buildings, making mad cash and endearing yourself to the opposite sex.
While Yahoo didn't go after any of its competitors in this spot, it -- like Bing -- used a barrage of images set to techno music, surely designed to appeal to the short-attention spanned generation that's busy skipping right past Microsoft and Yahoo as they "Google it" to get to their online destination.
Don't get me wrong. I'm actually a big Yahoo fan and think Carol Bartz has it on the right track. I just wish the ad campaign told a story, any story, rather than a generic, "It's all about you message." It's just not enough of a differentiation.
As I said in my review of the Virgin Mobile, "You Rule" slogan, "This slogan could be for just about any brand that's hopped on the bandwagon of personalization in targeting today's self-centered instant gratification generation."
I actually think Yahoo could've used something like "Start Here" -- a slogan that was confusing when ABC used it -- to show that it's finally morphed into a true portal where all your favorite content is neatly organized and no-one's trying to keep you in a walled garden.
The thing that bugs me most about the Yahoo ad is that they actually use the word "consume" to describe how people might use it. For the love of marketing, people don't like to think of themselves as consumers!
Check that, just watched it again... the thing that bugs me most is that it shows 2 pre-teens when it suggests you use Yahoo to "flirt." As a father of a little girl who will be pre-teen in no time, the last thing I want to be thinking about is my daughter flirting with boys online.
And what's up with the harmony on the Yodel at the end? Bring back the country bumpkin! Or, wait a few more months and then I'm sure Kevin Skinner will be looking for paying gigs.
OK, enough ripping on this initial spot. Microsoft seemed to get it right after its manic breakout with follow-up spots that were more subtle and on-point and it appears the campaign is moving the needle on market share so maybe Yahoo's just trying to follow that blueprint and generate some buzz.
Here's the commercial...
And here's my 2 cents on the out-of-home ads...
Update 10/14: Just saw this chart from Silicon Alley Insider (h/t to @LenKendall via @JBCopeland) showing consumer perception of Yahoo pre and post "It's You." Looks like I'm not the only one that this campaign is failing to resonate with.
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