With a penis joke, AllThingsD previews a major new ad offensive from Yahoo, which will have distinct but related messages for advertisers and consumers. On the advertiser side of the campaign, Yahoo will reportedly stress its reach and scale in an IAB event keynote next week, coinciding with Advertising Week in New York:
The main message Bartz is set to deliver is that Yahoo is a powerhouse unlike any others on the Web when it comes to online display advertising.
Of course “reach” is all about audience which directly correlates with consumer usage. The Yahoo message for consumers will reportedly be (according to the AllThingsD anonymous sources) something like “your home on the web.” This would appear to be a variation on the Jerry Yang-era mantra: your “start page for the internet.”
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz articulated some of this consumer messaging in her recent CNBC interview, which caused Danny to dub her the “Sarah Palin of Search.” In the interview she discusses Yahoo being the way that consumers “organize their lives online.” The new Yahoo homepage is one attempt at this. Another company called Facebook sees itself doing some of these same things, at least where friends and communications are concerned. And Google (search) is arguably the primary way that people navigate to intended destinations online.
Assuming the general accuracy of the AllThingsD article, these twin Yahoo campaigns conceptually work well. But, for consumers in particular, will the messaging line up with their experiences? Can Yahoo actually deliver on the idea of “your home on the web”? In some ways clearly yes, but (to date) not across the full range of consumer needs and interests. So if it wants to fulfill the promise of that slogan, Yahoo still has some work to do.
The best that ads can do is build awareness, suggest something or shape an impression. The products and experiences then actually have to deliver.