Yahoo! TV Spot Is Aimed At Educated, Affluent Men

By Joan Voight and Becky Ebenkamp

SAN FRANCISCO–Yahoo! flaunts its slightly off-center image in its second national TV spot by Black Rocket.

The San Francisco agency is aiming the new work at men who are ready to start exploring the World Wide Web.

Yahoo!, an Internet search directory, plans to back the new ad with $5-10 million in media spending in less than a year, company sources said.

Scheduled to break this week, the ad will run during network TV programs with a strong male audience, such as Seinfeld, The X-Files and The Late Show With David Letterman. Spot TV buys include markets served by Yahoo!’s regional guides, including New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Boston.

Created by Black Rocket partners Bob Kerstetter and Steve Stone, the ad maintains the ‘Do you Yahoo!?’ tagline. In an attempt to woo educated and affluent men, the ad makes fun of a youngish man’s attempts to try to cover his baldness with a few remaining strands of hair. Finally, he turns to his computer, where he conducts a search under the words ‘health’ and ‘hair.’

The next scene shows the man strutting down a busy street and turning heads with a bushy, four-foot Afro.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! is deliberately avoiding promoting specific features–such as its new chat service–in its TV ads, according to Karen Edwards, the company’s director of brand management. ‘The ultimate goal is to be likeable’ and to reinforce the brand’s fun image, she said.

‘We aren’t expecting a huge jump (in on-line visits) the day after a big football game,’ she added. ‘We are looking for long-term growth.’

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