Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Yahoo’s $100 Million TV Ad

Don’t say they didn’t warn you: Last week, Yahoo formally rolled out its new $100 million-plus marketing campaign. Today, the TV ads begin. Here’s what you’ll be getting if you watch AMC, ESPN, USA, Comedy Central, Bravo or any of the broadcast networks in the U.S. (Live in the U.K. or India? You’ll have to wait until Oct. 5.):

My armchair ad criticism: Why is Yahoo (YHOO), which already has enormous reach (as the company never fails to point out, it has a half-billion people hitting its homepage every day), marketing the fact that it has enormous reach? Why not, say, advertise some awesome new products?

That way, if I’m not a Yahoo user, I might have a reason to become one. And if I am a Yahoo user (which I am–I’m at Yahoo finance a dozen times a day or more), I’ll have more reason to stick around and explore.

I ran that one by Chief Marketing Officer Elisa Steele last week when she unveiled the campaign, and to her credit, she didn’t roll her eyes in disgust at my caveman ignorance. In fact, she said, Yahoo has every intention of rolling out awesome new products, and ads that highlight them–down the road.

So stay tuned. Then again, given the money Carol Bartz and crew are committing to this, it will be very difficult not to see this stuff.

(Disclosure: In case you didn’t notice, there is a giant honking Yahoo ad at the top of this site. As best I can tell, it appears to be part of a Yahoo buy made across The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. Just to spell it out: I’ve got nothing to do with ad sales at All Things Digital, though I am happy when people buy ads from my employer.)