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Dan writes: Identity Crisis??

A while back, Steve posted regarding the oddness of the Algorithm ad campaign. Last night, I finally had the camera handy and snapped this shot of the company’s latest TV ad:


For anyone who hasn’t seen it, the spot features a William Hurt-esque everyman doing a Busby Berkeley number, as he celebrates the success of a search he has just done for “Chicks With Swords.”

Does this seem like a really odd choice of content to anyone else? The ad has me wondering: how would you parse the factors that separate “offbeat and interesting” from just plain “out there?”

Don’t Ask Me

(click to enlarge, if you really want to)

Ask dropped Jeeves a long time ago. Over the past few weeks I’ve seen this really bizarre campaign (with odd billboards) and the thrust of it seems to be restating the fact that Jeeves is gone. Oh, and somehow talking about the algorithm ties to that. Algorithm? If you don’t have a background in computer science or as a programmer, is that a word you are comfortable with? At least the NYT put quotes around the word for their piece about Google’s secret sauce.

Today the press is carrying the same story but it all seems weird. The timing is out of sync and just seems way too late and the ads themselves are so absolutely unclear. Are we supposed to be curious and therefore more engaged with the brand? If I were marketing a search engine, I might want to associate the brand with clear communication and easy-to-understand information, rather than dense and obscure and smug.

But that’s just me, I guess.


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