CNN reports that Yahoo! is starting a multimillion dollar ad campaign; hitting TV, radio, cinema and online media. You should start seeing the TV ads starting on September 21. They will air on professional baseball games, MTV and late-night comedy shows. According to CNN:
“[The advertising] takes a humorous look at life with – and without – the benefits of Yahoo services.”
Some opinions have been voiced suggesting that Yahoo! is wasting money in desperation, instead of putting it into R&D. I see some problems with this point of view.
For one, Google has an amazing brand recognition. Its SERPs are far from perfect. There is tons of spam. Other search engines, like Ask, have better features; yet I don’t see people switching over. Even if Yahoo! adds a million new features to the SERPs, I bet you most people will still be “googling” the web.
Second, people often forget that Yahoo! is not all about search. Yahoo! has managed to build an impressive array of services beyond search.
And thirdly, who says that Yahoo! is down and desperate? In the list of Fortune’s 100 fastest growing companies in 2006, Yahoo! comes in 19th. Wait a minute? Where is Google?!!! Google, my friends, is not on the list.
It makes perfect sense for Yahoo! to go out and try to steal a larger market share from Google. And that is not done by adding a new feature here and there. It is done by going out there and reminding people that Yahoo! still has a lot to offer.