Now There’s A Reason For The “!”

Kara Swisher of Wall Street Journal’s All Things Digital says Yahoo’s new partnership with Goodby Silverstein & Partners “is sure to be much commented on by the advertising industry.”
And she’s right, here I am about to comment…
First, let’s examine the ridiculous spin put on the move by Yahoo’s Integrated Marketing and Brand Management SVP, Penny Baldwin.

(Baldwin) stressed that the move was a broadening of its outside marketing advisers and was not a replacement of Ogilvy, or any indication that the current new marketing campaign needed to change.
She said internal reports on the effectiveness of overall big theme of “It’s Y!ou,” launched last month, have been strong.

Internal reports? Uh, whatever. How about external reports? Like this one, made herein on 9/28/09.
If you prefer your ad criticism with a dash of salt, George Parker (who has a freelance relationship with GSP) says, “this gives O&M a brutal kick in the nuts after only six months on the business and producing a truly shitasticly mediocre campaign that has been universally hammered in the trades.”
Whatever the missteps made by O&M and Yahoo on the new campaign, I think we’d all agree that Yahoo needs more help than any ad campaign, even a brilliant one, can provide.

“This is far more than just an advertising effort,” said Baldwin of Yahoo’s efforts to revitalize itself in the eyes of consumers-and, while she did not say so, to the digerati of Silicon Valley. “This is a business transformation.”

When you’re going nose-to-nose with Google, anything short of “business transformation” is a losing strategy.
I’m confident Goodby will bring big, juicy, “transformative” ideas to Yahoo’s table. The question is will Yahoo listen, and act on Goodby’s advice? For their own sake and Goodby’s, I certainly hope so.



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.