Yahoo Advertising Campaign Like Their Search Capabilities: Misguided At Best

Jerry Yang this past spring turned down what may have been the sweetest deal in negotiating a sales price for Yahoo during the Microsoft “take over” bid. In that scenario, as it has played out to date, Yang refused to sell Yahoo believing that the company was worth more than the nearly 50 billion being offered. In this case, Yang made an egregious error and his stockholders are now suffering the consequences with Yahoo stock price plunging to an alarming $12 per share.

Equally stupid, in my opinion, is the marketing campaign being pushed on Northern California radio by the mind trust at Yahoo. It seems in the information rich, human capital intelligent, internet savvy Silicon Valley, Yahoo is clueless to it’s audience. Why?

A Train wreck Marketing Philosophy: “Don’t get lost in all the links”

1. Taking on Google’s algorythim by hinting that Google confuses people by offering to much information in their search queries

2. Assuming the Public is too stupid to understand the basics of great search results offered by Google

3. “Ah Shucks” tone of innocence in attempting to sway the less than informed public

4. Bad Advertising ploy where Yahoo follows the old Madison Ave tactic where producing a very bad ad so enrages the public they talk about the product

5. “Less is More” in this case less is not more it is less information, less value, suspect results

Rule of Thumb

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If you are going to take on the biggest advertising company in the world, you better have something to say that is worthy of the task. Trying to be Sarah Palin “folksie” only makes Yahoo look stupid and stupid doesn’t play in the Valley

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2 thoughts on “Yahoo Advertising Campaign Like Their Search Capabilities: Misguided At Best

  1. Bruce,

    Now that Jerry is gone maybe they will hiring a brand or marketing director who understands Yahoo’s strength without focusing on their weakness-search. Yahoo is a great company but like any company, as Alan Cohen likes to say, “keep the main thing the main thing.” Thanks!

    dean

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