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In a stunning turnaround, Yahoo (YHOO) has ‘soft-fired’ the ad agency responsible for the “It’s Y!ou” ad campaign, which some experts say has faltered with consumers.See “It’s Y!ou” ads all over New York →
Yahoo has hired Omnicom Group (OMC) agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to lead its creative, advertising, digital marketing and strategic planning. Previously, those were WPP (WPPGY) agency Ogilvy & Mather’s responsibilities.
We call it a “soft-firing” because Ogilvy’s Neo and Mindshare units will continue to oversee Yahoo’s online media buying.
Goodby clients include Comcast, Emerald Nuts, Hewlett-Packard, Adobe, and Netlfix.
In what we assume must be an effort not to completely embarrass a longtime partner, Yahoo marketing boss told Kara Swisher Goodby’s hiring shouldn’t reflect poorly on Ogilvy. She said Yahoo plans to keep running “It’s Y!ou” ads, and that internal reports on the campaign have been strong.
“Nonetheless,” Kara reports, “Baldwin added that the new agency is sure to bring more ideas to the mix in the massive effort, which has included television, print, outdoor and online ads.”
Last week, we reported evidence that Yahoo’s $100 million “It’s Y!ou” ad campaign might actually be hurting the company’s brand.
A company called YouGov interviews 5,000 people a day and asks them about brands. For Yahoo, they asked “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, was it positive or negative?”
YouGov then gives the company a score between -100 and 100, compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. Since the launch of “It’s Y!ou” campaign on September 28th, Yahoo’s buzz score dropped from a 35.4 to a score of 25.5 as of yesterday, Monday, October 12th.
For those keeping score at home, Yahoo retains relationships with three independent branding firms. Besides the not-completely-fired Ogilvy and the new firm Goodby, there’s also strategic branding firm Landor & Associates, hired over the summer.
Don’t miss: Yahoo’s “It’s Y!ou Campaign Takes Over New York