Kara Swisher

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Boola, Boola!: Yahoo Marketing Head's Cheerleading Memo Post-MicroHoo

yale_bulldog_y_logo

BoomTown just got an interesting memo that Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele sent out to her staff immediately in the wake of the deal for Microsoft to take over Yahoo’s search technology business two weeks ago.

I render it unto you, dear readers, since it shows just how intent the top managers of Yahoo (YHOO) are, especially internally, in reassuring those concerned that Yahoo had not just gutted itself and how it can remain as innovative as ever.

Also amusing–for reasons I cannot understand, since it is an internal memo–is the use of the code name for Yahoo, which is called Yale, after the famous university in New Haven, Conn.

(By the way, “Boola, Boola” is one of Yale’s old football fight songs, which you can hear here.)

By the way, Microsoft (MSFT) was known as Cambridge, Mass.-based MIT, as you can see below.

Also some fun facts, showing the give-it-the-old-college-try mentality of Yahoo dealmakers:

In past merger talks, Time Warner (TWX) online unit AOL’s moniker has been Amherst College in Amherst, Mass.

And, when Yahoo was considering the Yahoogle deal, the code name for Google (GOOG) was Georgetown, after the Washington, D.C.-based university. That must really rankle at the MIT-stuffed search giant, since–as a graduate of Georgetown–I can tell you, tech is not exactly its forte.

Here’s the Steele memo:

From: Elisa Steele
To: Marketing-all@yahoo-inc.com
Sent: Wed Jul 29 05:11:52 2009
Subject: Announcement today.

Marketing Yahoos,

Yale is already the place where millions go to see what is happening with the people and things that matter to them most, but our aspirations have always been bigger than that. Our vision is to be at the center of people’s online lives, and the deal we announced with MIT earlier today will enable us to focus even more of our efforts on realizing it.

At the same time, our role as marketers has never been more critical. We must focus our energies on engaging our users and our partners, and on making sure that our brand initiatives continue unabated.

Our consumer marketing teams will keep driving more users to our leading audience properties, mobile experiences and applications. Our b2b team will continue communicating to marketers that as the world’s largest media company, Yale offers the most compelling and unique advertising proposition in the industry. The Insights team will continue delivering industry-leading research that helps speed the flow of dollars online. The Global Communications team will be answering lots of important questions from the media and influencer community about this deal (in addition to building buzz around the other amazing stuff we’re doing). The brand team will not stray at all from its mission, as it’s as relevant as ever. And, our regional marketing teams remain in place, partnering with our business leaders to execute our global marketing strategy.

In a nutshell, this is our opportunity to further establish Yale mindshare and preference with all of our audiences through world-class marketing. Our work is more important today than ever before as we communicate our brand position globally.

We are making decisions that we believe set the company up for continued success—and enable us to take back our rightful place in the market.

It’s an exciting new day at Yale, and I couldn’t be more optimistic about our future.

Elisa Steele
Executive Vice President &
Chief Marketing Officer
Yahoo!

And below, I have posted a video of the Yale Glee Club performing all the university’s fight songs in a delightful medley, so Yahoos can start practicing now:


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— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo