Hit or Miss - Ask.com

Ask.com reverts to Ask Jeeves and brings back butler icon in latest rebrand

Ask Jeeves
Ask Jeeves

Butler's back Search engine Ask.com has reverted to its original brand name Ask Jeeves, bringing back its iconic butler character, which it ditched in 2006. The search engine says it resurrected Jeeves after its research revealed web users missed his 'friendly, human touch'. The media consensus was that the rebrand was an attempt by Ask.com to differentiate itself from Google and Yahoo. Slam has been handling consumer PR for the relaunch.

HOW I SEE IT - Alan Twigg, Managing partner, Seventy Seven PR

This brand feels like it has had more makeovers than Madonna, so I am sceptical about the strategy's success. Slam has managed some good coverage and giving Jeeves a Facebook page, a Twitter feed and a clothing overhaul, and using celebs for the 'question of the day', are all cute ideas.

My question is: can you really make a butler contemporary (the new one looks a bit like a smug banker and is thus about as relevant)? More seriously, facing the sheer market dominance of Google, is the campaign missing the really big stunt or experiential set piece that will achieve major cut-though in tabloid and broadsheet media? My biggest question is about the wisdom of going back at all. Sometimes you leave yourself no room to go forward.


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