Yahoo’s New Ad Campaign: It’s You!

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the new consumer-facing Yahoo branding campaign is starting to appear in New York, with a personalization theme: It’s You!. According to the article:

Yahoo is planning to reintroduce its battered brand to the public Tuesday with a massive global marketing campaign, according to people familiar with the effort.

The Internet company’s new tagline, according to one of those people: “It’s You!”

The Y in the “You” is the Y from “Yahoo,” and the famous Yahoo exclamation point will pop up too, this person said . . . The global campaign is focused on personalization and how Yahoo can help people navigate all their services and information online.

In the past, Yahoo has run numerous ad campaigns promoting individual services or the company as a whole. The “It’s You!” campaign sounds quite similar to 2004′s “Life Engine” campaign. At the time the press release announcing the latter effort said:

“Our goal is to showcase the multi-dimensional nature of our brand and reinforce how Yahoo! impacts the lives of its users every single day,” said Cammie Dunaway, chief marketing officer, Yahoo!. “One great way to express the idea of consumer impact is to hear it directly from and feature those people who use our ‘Life Engine’ every day.”

I don’t think I’d agree with the WSJ characterization that Yahoo’s brand is “battered,” but it’s not as hip/cool/lustrous as it once was. AOL faces the nearly identical challenge. Facebook, although not a portal, has taken the place of these portals for many people.

There’s always a question about whether advertising can change behavior. Certainly it can generate awareness. But Yahoo’s past efforts to promote its search engine failed to affect market share. The same was true with Ask’s commercials as well. Still there may be an opportunity to reintroduce the Yahoo brand as a way to help organize your life online.

If I were in the CMO role now occupied by Elisa Steele I would also emphasize Yahoo as a trusted source of information. The internet is increasingly noisy and chaotic and there are only a few sites that truly can lay claim to being trustworthy. Yahoo is one of them.

Related Topics: Channel: Industry | Yahoo: Business Issues | Yahoo: General | Yahoo: Other

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About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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