Lots Of Yahoos Hate The New Ad Campaign

Yahoo is pushing forward with its $100 million “It’s Y!ou” ad campaign and will begin rolling out more product-oriented ads beginning early next year, Kara Swisher reports.

Yahoo SVP Penny Baldwin, the woman behind “It’s Y!ou,” told Kara Swisher, “We are committed to ‘It’s You,’ and it is a foundational element that will remain intact.”

Who’s to blame?

Besides Penny, who came on this summer, the people responsible for “It’s Y!ou” are:

  • Yahoo’s ad agency Ogilvy (which has since been soft-fired).
  • Yahoos themsleves. A spokesperson told Kara “a recent internal Yahoo survey showed that about 80 per cent of employees responded favourably or very favourably to the brand, and another 13 per cent were neutral.” We applaud the brave 7% who stood up to what we call “why-loo.”

What a waste.

While we’ve always believed an ad campaign directed at Yahoo’s advertisers makes some sense, our immediate reaction to “It’s Y!ou” when it launched in October was a confused shoulder shrug.

When was the last time an ad campaign drove traffic to a Web site?

Since then, objective data has only supported our subjective take.

  • Weekly uniques to Yahoo.com basically unchanged since the campaign started, according to data from comScore.
  • Consumer research firm YouGov says the ad campaign has actually damaged Yahoo’s brand with regular people, not helped it.

Yahoo tries to counter all this data with some of its own from ComScore and Nielsen, saying that homepage engagement is up 3% to 5% from September to October.

This is baloney.

Remember, Yahoo introduced a new, more engaging version of its homepage late last summer. What’s more likely, that a shirtless dude on a skateboard is keeping people on Yahoo.com more, or that a new version of Yahoo.com is keeping people on Yahoo.com?

Yahoo also says “It’s Y!ou” is driving international adoption. This is more believable.

To see a re-branding done right, check out AOL’s. Read: Admit It, The New AOL.com Looks Beautiful

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