Yahoo Brings Back Irreverence

NEW YORK Yahoo is pushing its recently revamped home page and enhanced services in its first national brand campaign in two years.

The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Internet giant is running spots on television, radio and the Web, beginning with TV ads this Thursday during series premieres on NBC and ABC.

Yahoo lead agencies OgilvyOne and Soho Square, both part of WPP Group, created the campaign.

Creative uses the company’s decade-old tagline, “Do you Yahoo?” Each execution presents a “life situation” enhanced by Yahoo.

In one spot, a school bully gives a fellow student a wedgie. In the replay, the victim foils the bully with sharp wit (and a lack of underwear) after receiving an e-mailed warning message on the night before.

Allen Olivio, Yahoo’s vice president of global brand marketing, said the ads are meant to “bring back some of that brand spirit” of Yahoo’s early irreverent advertising. In its last brand campaign, “Life Engine” in 2004, Yahoo focused heavily on the practical benefits of its services.

“It’s a way of us putting the flag up the flagpole and reasserting our identity,” he said.

As an added thank you to its user community, Yahoo will give away a coupon for a free cup of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts on Friday.

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. Last year Yahoo spent almost $40 million in measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence. In the first nine months of this year, it spent $12 million.

The broad push comes two months after Yahoo kicked off a consumer-generated online effort, inviting users to submit videos touting the service. Over 100 such videos were created. The company said it would likely run at least one of the videos as part of the TV campaign.

Yahoo overhauled its home page in May, increasing video options and adding new navigational and customization features. It has also revamped its e-mail application and introduced new services like Yahoo Answers, which lets users respond to each other’s questions.