Is Ask.com's "The Algorithm" Campaign Really Working?

Jun 13, 2007 • 7:13 am | comments (17) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Ask.com - Ask Jeeves
 

ask-algorithm-promotions.jpgThe other day, I was chatting with my brother-in-law while flying back from St. Louis. Some how, the conversation about "The Algorithm" commercials came up. I went into the history behind the whole campaign, describing how Edison was leaked (the code name for the new Ask.com algorithm) and it all began there. We then began seeing billboards for The Algorithm and then the buzz about the controversial nature of some of those billboards began to rock the public. Soon after the commercials began coming out and then the launch of the news Ask.com site.

My brother-in-law, who is extremely technology savvy, stopped me and said, he thought the commercials were for Google. I looked at him with concern and asked him to repeat that. He said it again, he thought those were Google commercials. He said, when he thinks of the word "algorithm," he thinks of Google. I was taken back and thought, wait a second, maybe other people think the same thing.

So I started a thread at Cre8asite Forums and received some trusted and useful feedback on the topic.

Softplus, an active SEM forum member in several forums, said:

In the beginning, it confused me as well

Google is constantly doing something with it's "algorithm". It even ranks #4 for "algorithm" (on Google).

Getting a "new" company associated with a term like that is going to be a long, hard journey....

Cre8asite Forum Moderator, Ruud added:

I'm convinced others are thinking the same. When we just had the "x hates the algorithm" stuff I was thinking they were kicking Google. "The algorithm is bad but we at Ask will do..."

The algorithm = Google.

I'm not sure how the TV spots would be viewed but your friend's reaction doesn't surprise me. Those around me who are not that computer savy do relate the word algorithm to Google... Go figure.

EGOL, moderator as well:

"Ask the Algorithm".... means... SEARCH GOOGLE.

Ask.com has two problems... lack of brand awareness... and because they have lack of brand awareness, a much stronger brand such as Google can usurp the word ASK right out of their commercial.

The feedback in the forum continues, it is overwhelming and all dead on.

Ask.com cannot get out of the shadow of Jeeves. Many miss the character, many miss the personality and many miss what it stands for. If searchers want an "algorithm," they will go to Google. I know Ask.com wants to change all that, but is it too late?

Forum discussion at Cre8asite Forums.

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