New Name, Branding for GoTo.Com

  |  September 10, 2001   |  Comments

As Overture, the pay-for-performance search engine aims to better convey its ability to "introduce" consumers to advertisers.

Pasadena, Calif.-based GoTo.com will henceforth be known as Overture Services, through a rebranding effort aimed at better communicating the company's pay-for-performance search engine services, and helping it distinguish itself from other similarly-named players.

As first reported by la.internet.com, beginning Oct. 8, GoTo will officially become Overture, with a new ticker symbol, OVER, and new Web site. The idea behind the name is that paid search engine listings like GoTo's facilitate "introductions" between merchants and prospective customers -- a benefit of the service that "Overture" is intended to better communicate.

"GoTo is the standard in pay-for-performance search and is redefining how businesses market online," said GoTo president and chief executive Ted Meisel. "Targeted introductions for marketers equal highly relevant results for users. In addition, Overture's ongoing commitment to product quality provides our affiliate partners with a high-quality and revenue generating search capability, and ensures advertisers receive extremely targeted and qualified traffic."

With the new name comes a new logo, designed by New York-based Chermayeff & Geismar, and a new tagline -- "Search Performance." The tag is meant as something of a double-entendre -- designed to convey high-quality search results, and, according to GoTo, "the strong return on investment that is derived from the targeted search introductions the company provides its advertisers."

The company said it decided to change its corporate name to better communicate to advertisers its position as one of the biggest players in cost-per-click search engine placement space -- with 45,000 advertisers and roughly 63 million consumers who see its search results, delivered via affiliate partner sites.

In addition, the company said it simply wanted to better stand out. In May 2000, the company concluded a yearlong fight with entertainment giant Walt Disney Co. and affiliated search engine Infoseek, which agreed to pay the startup a $21.5 million settlement and abandon the logo for its own Go.com Web site network -- which GoTo had alleged, in a February 1999 suit, was too similar to its own yellow-and-green logo.

Furthermore, the name change comes as GoTo.com says it's about to turn the corner for profitability. According to Meisel, the company should post positive net income in third quarter, ending in September. (Thomson Financial/First Call estimates place the company earning $0.02 per share during the quarter.)

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