IQ News: Yahoo!’s New Spot Touts Shopping Area

Post-portal Yahoo! is airing a new television commercial to highlight a remodeled shopping area, which goes live today. The television spot via San Francisco shop Black Rocket continues the theme, begun in spring 1996, of all the things users can do on the Santa Clara, Calif., big-box site.
Users of Yahoo! Shopping now can search through the wares of its 7,000 merchants not only by item, but by brand or retailer. An electronic wallet has been added so users don’t have to enter their shipping and billing information each time they buy. The area also includes new content, such as reviews, to help with purchase decisions.
The spot by Black Rocket writer Aaron Stern, art director Aaron Allen, creative directors Bob Kerstetter and Steve Stone and account manager Beth Borgman continues the tactic of combining memorable images with quirky characters. In it, a fisherman in the Arctic wasteland struggles to bring a fish back to his family in their chilly hut. But they don’t need more fish, they have plenty–what they do need is heat. Via Yahoo! Shopping, the fisherman buys a hot tub and a barbecue, and finds familial bliss.
Yahoo!’s vice president of brand marketing Karen Edwards said the spots are part of the company’s slow but mighty brand-building effort.
“We recognized that people had thought of Yahoo! as a place to find information or meet people,” Edwards said, “but we had a challenge in letting them know it’s also a place to buy. It won’t happen overnight–we’re not looking for some immediate traffic spike. We’re taking a long-term brand-building approach.” Edwards said the approach has paid off for Yahoo!, with studies showing that it is a highly-trusted brand.
Allen said a common theme runs through this and the earlier ads. “They’re all about people empowering themselves through Yahoo!, whether they’re searching for something or wanting to buy something. There’s a problem, they’ve gone to Yahoo! and found the solutions.”
The media schedule includes both network and cable venues, primarily in prime time.
Edwards said it’s company policy to stay mum about the size of the buy. “I see some of our competitors talk about how much they’re spending,” she said, “and I [often think], ‘That didn’t look like a hundred million dollars.’ “