WSJ Covers’s “Information Revolution” Ad Campaign

Ask UK TV CommercialsAsk.Com’s ‘Revolt’ Risks Costly Clicks from the Wall Street Journal weighs in on the guerrilla marketing campaign we covered last month, especially focusing on the negative comments that have appeared on the associated web site.

The article also highlighting the television commercials now airing. I’ve seen these myself on TV here, and a video clip below give you a taste.

Writes the WSJ about the campaign’s web site:

The online discussion has been dominated by people complaining they’ve been misled. "I thought this may be an informative Web site about how information is used on the Internet," said one posting last week. "Instead I discover it’s just a cheap ploy for an inferior search engine." The six-week campaign is designed to lift’s profile in the U.K., where it trails Google, Yahoo and Microsoft. The network, a unit of New York’s IAC/InterActiveCorp, was used for 4.3% of all Internet searches in the U.K. in January, according to comScore Networks Inc.

Fallon says it expected some criticism but felt there was little to lose, because Google is so much bigger.

Indeed. Ask CEO Jim Lanzone had told me earlier that relatively few people are hitting the site. The real goal of the campaign is to raise awareness through offline promotion. Picking up a Wall Street Journal story certainly gives them a success, on that front.

Below is a trailer explaining the campaign from Ask’s advertising company, that they said I could share. To see the TV adverts, jump to 1 minute 45 seconds into it.

Techmeme also has related articles on this topic.

Related Topics: Ask: Promotions | Channel: Industry


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • softplus

    How much of this guerrilla marketing is too much? Vandalizing brick + mortal shops with the Ask URL? Running PPC on company names? Paying “partners” for dropped links?

    Read this short thread about a shop owner and his experiences with…

    I’m all for being creative and being a slightly obnoxious to get people to talk about you; but taking it too far is not going to help very much.

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