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Very refreshing to see ‘technologists’ get it!

I am referring to Yahoo’s latest marketing campaign for Yahoo! Answers. Bridging the Internet to real life - that for me surmises Yahoo’s “Be a Better…” campaign.

I know in the past we have been pinned to pick sides in the Google vs. Yahoo wrangle, but I feel that credit should be given where credit is due. All too often, we see aficionados in the technical world forget whom they are making the technology for. They forget who the audience is. Let me tell you something, the mass populous is not the coder, the programmer, SEO chief, the developer, nor are they all the ‘online engineer’ as some like to call it. They are layman’s who have adopted technology and the internet to build upon the conveniences related to their lifestyle, occupation, likes, hobbies, and watched trends. Therefore, if this is the profile, it only makes remedial sense that companies communicate accordingly, so everyone recognizes that the advertised product is inclusive and can be adopted by him or her, easily.

With Yahoo’s “Be a Better…”campaign, they have cleverly created interactive media online and very catchy print, television and film ads to promote their Yahoo! Answers product, as something of value to everyone. To give you an example of this cleaver weave to reality, one of Yahoo’s TV commercials is coined “Be a Better Explorer”. It shows two friends out for a hike in the woods. The activities that follow show their inspecting a flower using a static guidebook and nearly being attacked by the man-eating bloom. Then the hike is portrayed again, but this time the hikers are using Yahoo! Answers and encounter a safer and more enjoyable hike. A similar scope was used for their “Be a Better Handyman” commercial.

After reviewing the commercials, all I could say was ‘brilliant’. Yahoo has taken their immense product and shown how it could be so many things to so many people, yet still personalizing it to the common individual.

Some may say this Yahoo product is very similar to that of Ask.com, but when the two are analyzed, you see that Ask represents an aggregate serve of related links and topics, where as Yahoo! Answers provides solutions taken from a peer-to-peer approach. The Yahoo product is more similar to LinkedIn and their relatively newly added ‘Answers’ section of their site. LinkedIn’s challenge however, has been its lack of emphasis on guiding the viral marketing many depend on for growth. The LI buzz seems to be diminishing quickly, as other social networks become adoptable to a larger demographic. The only way LinkedIn could potentially win the answer game is to play on their quality of responses in comparison to Yahoo! Answers. With such a large and varying community on Yahoo, the answers received may need to be weeded to find the best suit, where as with LinkedIn and the pool that congregate there, you would be more likely to find appropriate sources much faster.

Nonetheless, the styling and base of this campaign, keeps Yahoo in the position as one of the leaders in reaching their mass public, with an appropriate, pointed but yet entertaining message

Bravo Yahoo, for speaking directly to the people!

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