Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Got Yahoo? Internet Giant Hires Goodby as Top Creative Agency for Its Ongoing Brand Revitalization.


In a shift that is sure to be much commented on by the advertising industry, Yahoo has tapped Goodby, Silverstein & Partners to take the lead for creative, advertising, digital marketing and strategic planning efforts.

The San Francisco-based Goodby, which is owned by the Omnicom Group (OMC), is known for its innovative ideas and has done such memorable campaigns as the Slowsky turtles for Comcast (CMCSA), the weird folk of Emerald Nuts, owned by Diamond Foods (DMND)–as well as campaigns for tech companies such as Hewlett-Packard (HPQ), Adobe Systems (ADBE) and Netflix (NFLX).

Also, of course, the terrifically memorable “Got Milk?” campaign.

Perhaps a “Got Yahoo?” campaign is in the future?

Until now, the top job of goosing Yahoo’s tarnished brand, as part of a recently launched $100 million marketing push, has been helmed by Ogilvy & Mather, a unit of the WPP Group (WPPGY).

While Goodby will lead on creative initiatives worldwide, Ogilvy will remain in the mix, Integrated Marketing and Brand Management SVP Penny Baldwin told BoomTown in an interview this afternoon, focusing on international marketing efforts, including all upcoming brand launches in France, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Brazil and Indonesia.

And, via it Neo and Mindshare units, Yahoo said, Ogilvy will also run all media buying for the Internet giant globally.

Yahoo (YHOO) is also keeping strategic branding firm Landor & Associates.

Goodby, Ogilvy and Landor will apparently form a Brand Advisory Board at Yahoo, run by Baldwin.

Baldwin stressed that the move was a broadening of its outside marketing advisers and was not a replacement of Ogilvy, or any indication that the current new marketing campaign needed to change.

She said internal reports on the effectiveness of the overall big theme, “It’s Y!ou,” launched last month, have been strong.

Nonetheless, Baldwin added that the new agency is sure to bring more ideas to the mix in the massive effort, which has included television, print, outdoor and online ads.

And, she noted, the location of Goodby’s HQ in San Francisco, not far from Yahoo’s Sunnyvale digs, was also a plus.

“Goodby has the caliber to serve worldwide needs,” said Baldwin. “And with the way the Web moves so fast, we thought it was also important to have deep resources locally.”

Up next, she added: to “root our brand strategy with more hard-hitting” messages about Yahoo.

“This is far more than just an advertising effort,” said Baldwin of Yahoo’s efforts to revitalize itself in the eyes of consumers–and, while she did not say so, to the digerati of Silicon Valley. “This is a business transformation.”

Here is Baldwin’s boss, Yahoo CMO Elisa Steele talking about the company’s marketing efforts of late in a video interview with Nicki Dugan on the company’s Yodel Anecdotal blog in a new feature called Yodelcast (sorry, Nicki, but it is simply too professional and unjiggly for BoomTown’s seal of approval):

And here are two examples of Goodby’s creatives–Comcast’s Slowskys and Robert Goulet for Emerald Nuts:

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle