Yahoo Announces It’s Y!ou Campaign, Carol Bartz Provides Best Soundbites

By Kiran Aditham 

Facing a horde of media folks wedged into a conference space within the NASDAQ building, Yahoo officially introduced its new It’s Y!ou campaign.

The campaign, which cost “more than $100 million” according to CEO Carol Bartz, is Yahoo’s first-ever global brand initiative and will target North America as well as the U.K., France, India, Brazil, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia among other markets.


With new taglines like “The Internet Has a New Personality: Yours” and “The Internet is Under New Management: Yours”, the campaign’s objective is to emphasize “commitment from Yahoo that it will deliver on relevance of everything you do” according to EVP/CMO Elisa Steele. Specifically, the costly marketing effort is to push Yahoo’s product offering including a revamped homepage and email service that focuses on user experience and personalization. This entails what Yahoo calls “My World”, which consists of your friends and interests, and “The World”, which pertains to general of-interest content.

Steele–who says that the campaign is budgeted to run for 15 months and will be multichannel but “grounded in digital”–then proceeded to show a video promo and stills from the North American creative, which features what she says are real people off the streets of New York. Hard to believe from the looks of it, but even more puzzling was Steele’s comment that consumers “really want more from online advertising,” which the exec deduced from a Yahoo survey of 1100 people called “Digital Memories.” Go figure.

While all the campaign bells & whistles and “excited” rhetoric served their sometimes dulling purpose, CEO Bartz spiced up the event by not only denying her selling of Yahoo stock, but sharing her thoughts when asked if the press is being hard on Yahoo and obsessed with seeing change. Her reply:

“When you get outside New York and Silicon Valley, everyone loves Yahoo. I go back to Wisconsin and they [love Yahoo]. I just want to transplant all of you guys out of your cynicism. What is wrong with you guys? Go be cynical about frickin’ Google. You got me pissed off.”

For the It’s Y!ou effort, Landor Associates handled the brand strategy while Ogilvy took on the creative reins though the Yahoo folks said the agency worked in conjunction with its SVP, Global Integrated Marketing and Brand Management Penny Baldwin and her team. We’re still waiting for Ogilvy’s take on the whole matter.

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