Single Throw's Internet Marketing Post

Single Throw is an Internet Marketing firm that helps businesses with sales lead generation by making sure your message is in the right place at the right time - when a customer is searching and has need - when they are most likely to make a buying decision. We call this "From Search to Success." In this blog, Single Throw's experts will share their insights on the state of business and marketing, both online and offline, as well explore new areas of Internet Marketing.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Axe Jeeves

Reports are out that Jeeves, the butler character that has represented search engine Ask.com and the brand Ask Jeeves has been fired, heading the way of the Pets.com sock puppet and other branded characters of what has been called Web 1.0. Once again, this reminded us that the Internet is all business. While the character may be recognizable and interesting, it represents the past the Ask.com is looking to evolve from. Over the years, Ask Jeeves has updated the Jeeves look to make him a bit younger and look less "butlerish," brandishing a business suit instead of a butler uniform. Apparently as a brand image, it was just not enough change. People are still looking to "Google" for answers, rather than to "Ask." Will there be another character to reckon with? Reports say that they are looking for a more contemporary "global" appeal, where Jeeves was more of a British influence. Fans of Jeeves (including former employees of Ask Jeeves) are speaking out on the character's behalf -probably because, he IS a character and cannot speak for himself, and this IS the Internet where everyone can be heard.

When is a brand image worth saving? When is it time for a change? Business goals - that is, who is your customer and what can you offer them - should drive a company's persona. Can we blame Ask Jeeves for desiring a change? Of course not. It's a business and trying to be a profitable one at that.

While we'll miss Jeeves as much as the sock puppet, just like life, all good things must come to an end.Ask Jeeves was acquired by Barry Diller's IAC in 2005.


Mentioned in this article:
CNET: Butler Jeeves Gets Extreme Makeover
WikiPedia: Pets.com Sock Puppet
Jeeves images from the artist Marcos Sorensen
Saves Jeeves Blog
InterActiveCorp
Ask Jeeves

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