I just finished reading Marissa Mayer and The Fight to Save Yahoo! (Nicholas Carlson). I loved it and even reviewed it for Amazon. But, I must confess, I missed the big idea in focusing too much on what was in the book. I missed what wasn’t in it. And that missing element was the marketing of the brand. “Do You Yahoo?” was perhaps the finest and most successful advertising campaign for a tech product ever done. It was so simple. The promise was invisible; allowing the viewer to insert his or her own benefits. The campaign was intentionally wordless to enable it to run in every market, in any language with minimal adaptation. And boy was it memorable. Even today, when I walk down the street with a Yahoo! hat or jacket, people yodel at me with a big grin. So what happened? How and why did Yahoo! discard great advertising in favor of what I believe to be bland, unmemorable dreck and discard a great brand in favor of ultimately me-too products?
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