Yahoo! Y!ou advertising campaign is about five years too late

A $100m global advertising campaign from Yahoo! demonstrates that the organisation is still so far behind its main rival.

I couldn’t help but notice the huge billboards plastered around Manchester this week promoting me, well Y!ou, well you know what I mean?

Yahoo! has unleashed an immense advertising campaign to, as I understand it let everyone know that the Internet is about You or Y!ou I should say.

Well, blow me down with a feather. Really? The Internet is about personalisation? Have they missed iGoogle, Facebook, Twitter, Flikr, You Tube? $100M spent on advertising a message that most Internet users have already been immersed in everyday for the past 4 or 5 years. I find it a little off the mark.

But why am I surprised? Ever since Excite’s CEO George Bell turned down $1M to buy Google, there has been no serious contender to the Search giant’s crown. Google has excelled in producing an internet function that empowers the user, not patronises them as Yahoo! continues to do.

In view of balance, what this ad campaign will succeed in doing is giving Yahoo! a renewed likeability. They haven’t really done ATL advertising for such a long time and I hope for the sake of competition that it works.

What it will do is continue to differentiate Yahoo! from Google and that perhaps is the goal of the new Chief Exec Carol Bartz, installed at the start of 2009. For they can not take on Google and win, even with the technology link up with Microsoft so a new tack is required.

Yahoo! has to its credit made its homepage more customisable, more social media-driven, but I am not convinced this is enough to make a shift change in user activity.

Unfortunately, what that means for Search Engine Marketers and their advertisers is that we will soon have only 1 real supplier, Google. And that is not good for your business or mine.