Yahoo is initiating an ambitious new — and expensive — brand advertising campaign titled “Be a Better . . .” The campaign will feature distribution across multiple ad media: TV, print, radio, online and cinema. It will focus especially on Yahoo mobile oneSearch and Yahoo Answers but also showcase other content (e.g., Travel and Sports), as well as Panama. It starts in the U.S. but will expand internationally.
The campaign is using humor, see two of the ads here, to promote the idea that Yahoo is the way for users to be “better,” smarter or more effective. (The ads I saw were pretty amusing.) Interestingly, unlike previous Yahoo campaigns, it doesn’t appear to highlight search. This may be a wise choice on the part of Yahoo to promote other assets — especially in mobile, an emerging market that is critical for the company.
Putting its social media chops into action, users will be able to rate ads and, starting later in the week, edit them and choose new endings (undoubtedly using the capabilities from Yahoo acquisition Jumpcut.). According to the release:
Starting May 5th, users have the chance to unleash their inner director by remixing the TV spots, choosing their own endings, and sharing their version with friends.
This is a particularly noteworthy and potentially groundbreaking aspect of the campaign and should be very interesting to watch. (The company will even be airing bloopers.)
If the campaign is engaging and fun Yahoo should see success. The user-generated content and viral dimensions may give it an additional boost and take on a life of their own. (A measure of success would be adoption and lift at various subdomains and in mobile.)
Past traditional campaigns have failed to impact Yahoo’s market share in search. But, as mentioned, Yahoo seems to be avoiding a direct assault on search for the time being.