Ask.com Goes Weird & Creepy With New UK Commercials

The Ask.com Blog announced that they have new commercials rolling out in the UK. They call these commercials the “third stage of the campaign” which is out to promote the Ask.com brand and features.

The commercials show hints of the Information Revolution message and some of their past promotions. I find the new commercials, featuring monkeys and postcards a bit strand and creepy.

Here are some of the commercials, available via YouTube. You make your own decision about them. I am very interested in your comments.

Related Topics: Ask: Promotions | Channel: Industry

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About The Author: is Search Engine Land's News Editor and owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry's personal blog is named Cartoon Barry and he can be followed on Twitter here. For more background information on Barry, see his full bio over here.

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  • http://searchenginetigers.com Simon Heseltine

    There’s surreal, and there’s surreal… but this… very strange.

  • http://www.traffick.com AndrewGoodman

    As always the ads seem to reflect the pathos of the creatives who create them (angling for awards from their peers); having little to do with marketing objectives or empathy with the audience.

    See my beefs about Amp’d Mobile and YP ads:

    http://www.traffick.com/2007/02/something-thats-been-bothering-me.asp
    http://www.traffick.com/2007/05/ampd-mobile-ads-smells-like-something.asp

  • http://www.coloradosearchmarketing.com Everett

    I didn’t get sound from three of them, which made it even more strange. Every time I see them pushing “The Algorithm” I want to laugh.

  • justindavy

    And the string of strange non effective commercials continues to get worse. I can’t imagine them thinking this is going to work. I’m all for different marketing techniques like what their doing for this movie http://www.apple.com/trailers/paramount/11808/large.html but Ask just doesn’t seem to get it.

  • http://www.JohnWEllis.com John Ellis

    I do not understand this at all.

    Stop. Stop. Stop. You are killing yourselves. Despite what some may say, any press is not good press.

    Just because we are talking about it, doesn’t mean we are using it.

    We also do not care about the algorithm.
    More marketing advice for Ask.com: http://www.johnwellis.com/marketing-advice-for-askcom/

  • RustyS

    Not surprising at all. You have to remember this is the same agency that decided resurrecting a creepy Orville Redenbacher from the dead was a good idea. Creepy works with Burger King right? It’s got too work here too then. They’ve been the agency du jour for the last several years, but they’ve lost that account and I’d be willing to bet good money they’re going to lose the Ask.com account shortly.

    http://www.adrants.com/2007/07/orville-redenbacker-dies-again.php

    I work at an ad agency, but maybe Ask should have allocated some of that $100 million advertising budget toward getting their index up to snuff. The greatest algorithm in the world isn’t going to mean squat without a large, active index.

  • http://blogoscoped.com Philipp Lenssen

    These ads are different (snuff movie aesthetic), I think different is good on TV because it makes you stick out. I think the message of the whole campaign is “grassroots”, “underground”, “alternative” and “underdog”, and these new commercials carry that spirit. That’s perhaps the only position Ask can see themselves reaching; to be not #1 search, but #1 search *alternative*.

    Still, I think good word of mouth is about 1,000 times more important, and it’s usually based on the actual product value, which is completely unrelated to the coolness or uncoolness of an ad campaign.

  • http://www.myinsurancereview.com David Quiec

    These ads are made for awards, not to meet marketing objectives. Creative but useless.

  • amanda_m

    Wow. Who do they have working in the marketing department? Is the monkey a full time employee?

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