Yahoo’s got lots of stuff going for them. Flickr is the best photo uploading service around, and they’ve got a massive audience for news and entertainment (just ask any blogger who’s had a post featured on their site). Their new ads try to stick it to Google, which isn’t the worst idea in the world, since Google is encroaching on pretty much everything Yahoo does. But the strategy they’ve chosen? Awful. Obviously and excessively awful.
First, Yahoo’s CEO, Carol Bartz, told the BBC that “Google is going to have a problem because Google is only known for their search…they’ve got to find other things to do.” Even those cave lizards that are born without eyes can name a solid five Google services off the top of their sightless little heads. How about Maps, Picasa, Reader, Voice, Docs, Calendar, News, and Buzz? How about Android? YouTube? Or Gmail, for God’s sake? There are lots of things you could pick apart about Google. Their design work is often iffy. Android is rapidly gaining popularity but not necessarily functionality, and splintering could lead to its downfall. The interconnectedness in Google Apps also puts users at risk of loss of privacy and information.
But accusing Google of a lack of diversification is almost a punchline, as told in the world’s worst comedy club somewhere in San Jose.
The new ads take it a step further, positioning Yahoo’s busy site as the ideal homepage, compared to Google’s “box and a button” minimalism. And that would be a good argument, if there wasn’t an airplane-sized hole in it by the name of iGoogle. iGoogle is pretty much what Yahoo wishes it was–and who uses Google.com as a homepage, anyway? Every modern browser has a Google search bar next to the address bar.
Yahoo is a fine company run by fine people, I’m sure. But seriously guys–get a new ad team. This one’s a dud.