Yahoo outlined its new global branding campaign today, dubbed “It’s You!”, which is focused on the personalization of its homepage and products. The campaign, which has a budget of more than $100 million, includes tag lines that will be featured on the homepage such as “It’s time to get personal” and “The new Yahoo lets you do it your way every day.” The company also released an updated version of its Yahoo search product. The update, shown to the media last month, includes a left-hand column that lets users filter their results by using Search Monkey data. The layout resembles Microsoft’s Bing, which is interesting since the two companies inked a search deal in July.
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said that the ad campaign isn’t a short-term marketing scheme, but a harbinger for the company’s new direction and its products going forward. “What we want to do is show (people) what the new Yahoo is about so they come (to the site) all the time,” she said.
The ad campaign will launch in the U.S. on Sept. 28 and in the UK and India on Oct. 5. Yahoo will roll out the campaign to other markets, including Brazil, Canada, France and Hong Kong, throughout the next year. “It’s you!” will be featured online and through a variety of other mediums such as TV, print and radio. Yahoo said it expects to see a shift in consumers’ perspective of the company brand within 12 months as a result of the campaign.
Reports surfaced earlier this week that Yahoo was preparing to unveil a marketing campaign focused on the size and scale of the company and personalization of its products. Examples of the campaign have already sprouted up in New York, according to the Wall Street Journal. Bartz hinted at the upcoming “It’s You!” campaign during the company’s July earnings call, saying that Yahoo’s “Q3 plans include an initial wave of incremental marketing spend which will increase substantially into Q4 and next year.”
Since Bartz took the helm of Yahoo in January this year, the CEO has made sweeping changes to the beleaguered Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company’s image, including rolling out a revamped homepage and updated versions of its Mail and Messenger consumer web products that tap into social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Bartz also has been quick to correct widespread assumptions that Yahoo is a search company, trying to set it apart from rivals like Google and Microsoft.
Releasing fresh versions of its products isn’t the only way the company is trying to redefine its image. Yahoo is looking to offload Zimbra, an open-source email company that it acquired for $350 million in 2007, in an effort to slim down its portfolio, AllThingsD reported this week.
When asked to confirm whether the company is selling Zimbra, Bartz said, “We don’t comment on whether something is being shopped or not. What I can tell you in the spirit of the question is that Zimbra technology is very, very important to our mail system.” But she added, ” The technology is already integrated into our system.”
According to Bartz, 76 percent of the U.S. population are Yahoo users and 581 million people visit the site each month.