September 23, 2009 3:00 am
Yahoo yesterday rolled out its most ambitious marketing campaign in an effort to persuade consumers and advertisers that it can take on Google as an advertising power.
Google dominates the market for search ads, which boast easily quantifiable results and have survived the recession well, leaving Yahoo to prove that a general campaign including display ads, an area in which it leads, can be just as effective.
The $100m, 10-country campaign, unveiled yesterday by Carol Bartz, chief executive, showed off television, print and online elements at New York's annual Advertising Week, underscoring the group's need to reach the audience of professional ad buyers that drive Yahoo's revenue.
"Advertisers follow consumers," Ms Bartz said. "If you want to talk in a parlance of advertising, you always need to build circulation by having more and more engaged, users."
Elisa Steele, Yahoo marketing head, told the Financial Times that half of the impressions in the campaign would be displayed digitally, and that the company would monitor results and shift the ads accordingly.
"One of our visions inside the company is to become our own best case study," Ms Steele said.
Since Ms Bartz's appointment in January, Yahoo has ceded its long battle to have the best search technology, striking a revenue-sharing deal to let Microsoft shoulder the expense and provide algorithmic results to users.
Instead, she has emphasised making Yahoo more helpful to consumers in its core businesses while selling off or closing ancillary sites so it can capture a bigger piece of the advertising market should a rebound occur.
Yahoo's US audience grew to 158m in August, according to ComScore, up 12 per cent from a year earlier and was just behind Google. Most of the largest sites saw similar growth as broadband spread and people spent more time online. Google's audience increased 11 per cent and Microsoft's 5 per cent.
The ad campaign, scheduled to last 15 months, will start in the US on Monday and move to the UK and India on October 5. It will also reach Brazil, Canada, France, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea and Taiwan.
With a tagline "It's you", the company wants to emphasise the improved capability for personalisation and customisation on its home page and other properties.
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