What A Waste

Last week we brought your attention to Yahoo’s creatively challenged $100 million ad push. Here’s the TV piece of the new You-centric campaign:

Sadly, this ad looks like any number of credit card or soft drink ads we’ve all seen a thousand times before. By showing us a world of diversity, we are meant to find ourselves in the mix and agree, “Yeah, that’s me!” But who does that?
Yahoo might be a solid company with decent product offerings, but I don’t get any sense of that from this TV spot. The strategy is off; hence, the creative is off.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. noah Rosenberg says:

    It feels like they’re trying to change a lot of minds with this one, so they felt like they needed to go big and anthemic. I think the real problem is with the premise– a TV spot can’t do that for you anymore. You can’t blanket mindshare the way you maybe could five or ten years ago. I think that’s what’s creating the “water off a duck’s back” feeling that this spot leaves you with. There’s nothing about it in particular that’s bad, it’s just asking too much out of 60 seconds of youtube clip or distracted prime-time DVRing to do.
    These days the way to feel impressive is to have a singular message appear in lots of different complex places; not a complex message appearing in one simple place as they’re doing with this spot.

  2. Hi Noah,
    Despite the change in media preferences and behaviors today, I still see great commercials on TV and I expect to see even better ones now that the competition for attention is all the more fierce.
    I don’t know why this new work from Yahoo bothers me so. I suppose it has to do with their willingness to spend $100 mil. on hollow rhetoric. To me it gets to the heart of what’s wrong with the ad biz.
    Yahoo needs to spend the $100 mil, that’s not in question. But they need to focus on their message before blowing through that kind of money.
    They could take a page from Avis, for instance, and create a defiant, but compelling “second place” strategy. It’s likely the execs at Yahoo want to be first, but that’s just silly. Second in search is an awesome place to be.