I have been noticing these billboards around the bay area that say “The Algorithm Killed Jeeves”, and the first thing I thought of was “Wow, Google is doing billboards?”. The next thing I thought was, “Wow Google put Askjeeves out of business?”.
Well it turns out thats what lots of people thought as well. Only it wasn’t Google that put the billboard out, it was Ask.com formerly askjeeves.com.
This has got to be one of the worst advertisements I have seen in a long time. Not only does it not even have the Ask.com branding anywhere on it, but is so vague that it makes everybody who sees the billboard thinks that it was made by Google.
I’m sure all the people who work at Ask.com thought that this was a a good joke and would work great for the re-branding campaign, but what they should have done is “Asked” someone who does not use or remember askjeeves.
They don’t need to remind people of who they used to be. They need to get users to notice who they are, and what they can do for them. They need to take that money and try to figure out what makes them different. What do they have that meets a need that users have.
They should have at least put up pages on the web to direct people to their site if they GOOGLED “The Algorithm killed Jeeves”. Instead all the traffic on the web about this is talking about what an inept branding campaign this is.
I think this one says it all: “The Algorithm Can’t find the Algorithm.“