Ben Wise on Branding

Watching the world through the lens of the brand

Yahoo! Ads Target Google but Miss the Mark

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The latest Yahoo! commercial (view here) takes dead aim at Google, the 800-pound gorilla of online search. While Yahoo! manages to highlight how they are different from Google, the commercial still misses the mark for the Yahoo! brand.

The commercial, which uses the slogan “Your favorite stuff all in one place. Make Yahoo your home page”, emphasizes that users can get everything they need through the Yahoo! portal. Fair enough. No one stays on the Google page after they found what they were searching for. I’m sure there are some internet users that prefer the one-stop shop that Yahoo! provides.

What Business Are You In?

The part I take issue with is the very start of the commercial where they show a screen with a single search box – clearly imitating Google. Making this the first image in the commercial makes search engines the frame of reference in the consumers’ mind. Yet Yahoo! goes on to say that they are not just a search engine – Yahoo! doesn’t even operate their own search algorithm anymore (they have outsourced this to Microsoft).

For Yahoo!, framing themselves in the context of search engines (ie Google), shows that they lack an understanding of what business they are in and who their real competitors are. If Yahoo! is a portal, they shouldn’t be comparing themselves to Google. While the rest of the commercial does a good job of showing their unique and differentiating attributes, this benefit is destroyed in the first 3 seconds when consumers are told to think about search engines, where Google is still the undisputed leader.

What do you think? Did Yahoo! miss the mark?

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Written by benwisebranding

May 6, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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