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Yahoo will shell out US$100M to promote its brand and products

Juan Carlos Perez | Sept. 23, 2009
The ad campaign will be the first global one in Yahoo's history

MIAMI, 22 SEPTEMBER 2009 - Yahoo will spend more than US$100 million over the next 15 months to aggressively promote its brand and products globally, the company's CEO, Carol Bartz, said on Tuesday.

The ad campaign's goal is to drive home the message that Yahoo wants to be the center of people's lives online. The marketing message centers around the word "you," making a play on Yahoo's iconic "Y" in phrases like "It starts with You" and "It's You."

Although Yahoo Web sites and online services already attract massive amounts of Web visitors, this campaign is necessary to make sure people are aware of recent enhancements to key products, like its home page, search engine and Webmail service.

Specifically, Yahoo wants to promote new social-networking, personalization and third-party integration features across several of its core services, which company executives feel make Yahoo an ideal central hub for people to manage their online experience.

In concept, this isn't too far removed from Yahoo's original mission when it was created by Jerry Yang and David Filo in the mid-1990s as a Web site directory, Bartz said at a press conference in New York City.

"This is a highly evolved [version of] the same concept. Now the Internet is even bigger and more scrambled eggs, and how can you organize your life and have it your way?" she said during the event, which was webcast.

"We're just taking it farther than it's been by having it really feel coordinated the way you want it ... so that it feels like an integrated experience for you," she added.

Launching on Monday in the U.S. and starting its rollout abroad on Oct. 5, this will be Yahoo's first global brand campaign, said Elisa Steele, Yahoo's chief marketing officer.

The campaign will stress what Yahoo considers its competitive strength: offering services to manage personal matters, like sharing photos and exchanging e-mails, as well as to stay informed and engaged when big news happens.

"It's the combination of my world and the world that we look at as the intersection of Yahoo's corporate position. It's where we believe we can own and deliver a unique and differentiated experience in a way no one else can," Steele said.

From a marketing perspective, Yahoo plans to say all the right things, such as stressing social-networking features and personalization, but it may fall short of the campaign's promise, an analyst said.

"Yahoo has a lot of successful sites and services and strong usage, but to close the gap between the campaign rhetoric and what they have, they'll have to step up in certain areas and deliver some best-in-class products," said industry analyst Greg Sterling from Sterling Market Intelligence. "The campaign itself won't do much if Yahoo can't back up its promise with the actual experience."

 

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