Online Innovation April 20th, 2009
Interesting news this morning as search engine Ask.com is reverting to its old name, AskJeeves.com, and is reintroducing their iconic butler to their corporate branding. For now this move is only for the UK based web property.
The search engine originally dropped ‘Jeeves’ back in 2006 as it worked to position itself as more of a search engine in the traditional sense and gain market share from Google, and to a lesser extent, Yahoo and Bing.
It seems that trying to be just another search engine took away some of the magic that made ‘Ask’ what it truly was – a search engine that could answer your question, not associate your words, with results.
After polling more than 2000 UK based students the internet property decided to revive the character because it brought positive feelings and encouraged a stronger identity for the search engine.
“Jeeves brings warmth and humanity to the search experience, and thanks to the enhancements we have made to our site, he is even better at providing answers than ever before, so bringing him back is a perfect fit.”
It will be interesting to see if this can restore search market share to Ask. ‘Ask’ has already enjoyed a 20% increase in traffic over the last year. Jeeves was, and is, a well-loved brand and when he was initially retired three years ago, a campaign sprung up amongst Ask users to have him reinstated.
Perhaps those who left back then will return in the hopes that the butler’s return means a return to the search engine’s original format as well.
What is old is new again! Welcome back Jeeves!