Club Soda and Salt

No more stains

Ineffective advertising

Posted by clubsodaandsalt on April 13, 2007

On my way back from La Guardia last night, I saw a huge billboard along the BQE declaring, “The algorithm killed Jeeves.” There was nothing much else on the ad. I was puzzled, and for the rest of the night I wondered if Google was now just taunting its competition. What would be next? Billboards cheering the demise of Webcrawler, or the vanquishing of Altavista? It just seemed so… mean.

Turns out that the Goog hasn’t started a campaign of open humiliation just yet. In fact, the billboard is apparently part of a campaign for ask.com, the heir to the formerly famous Ask Jeeves. So they were… taunting themselves? Huh? I don’t get it. I mean, if nothing else, presumably they were using an algorithm in their previous incarnation, as well.

At any rate, as an indication of how effective this ad was, I invite you to guess how I went about getting an answer to my question.

5 Responses to “Ineffective advertising”

  1. Mani said

    I’m not sure I get that. What’s the point of that campaign really?

  2. Not sure. I guess it’s meant to be viral? Maybe? Like, you go home and investigate, and presto! you end up on ask.com. But… pretty much anyone who’s interested enough to go research is probably just going to use their favourite search engine to do so, and since they haven’t bothered to link the phrase to their website, you just end up on websites talking about the campaign which seems… ineffective. Though on the other hand, ask.com is now in my consciousness, which it certainly wasn’t before.

  3. Mani said

    lol, I guess it’s in mine too.

  4. Maybe they’re saying that they’ve improved so much that they’ve shedding the Jeeves from the name is the ultimate sign of that. Their algorithm got so much better that it killed the Jeeves which is why they’re just called ask.com now.

  5. sandrar said

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. 🙂 Cheers! Sandra. R.

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