Yahoo Campaign Invites Users to ‘Be a Better…’

Yahoo has launched an integrated branding campaign with the tagline, “Be a Better…” and ad placements spanning online, TV, print, radio and cinema. Creative duties were split between Soho Square and OgilvyOne Worldwide, and media was handled by Ogilvy’s Neo@Ogilvy.

The creative executions use various Yahoo properties as a jumping off point. One ad for Yahoo Answers, dubbed “Be a Better Handyman,” was developed for both TV and the Web. The broadcast spot shows a couple decorating their living room; the man vaporizes his wife when he uses a laser level he “bought at a surplus store.” As the scene resets and he uses a laser level he “found out about on Yahoo Answers,” pictures and other crooked objects in the room automatically straighten.

In one online ad, synchronized banner and skyscraper ads take a “choose your own ending” approach. Users click on “See without Yahoo! Answers” or “See with Yahoo! Answers” in the banner to trigger the video outcome in the skyscraper unit.

“We actually got to use the same director who shot the TV [commercial], got his input and creative talents, and turn what could have been a simple banner ad into something fun and interactive for people at home,” said Mark Svartz, copywriter at Soho Square, a unit of Ogilvy.

Similar treatment was given to “Be a Better Explorer,” in which two hikers experience the difference between looking up a flower in a guidebook versus using Yahoo’s mobile oneSearch. Users can remix the commercial with alternate beginnings and endings using a “Be a Better Director” tool on the campaign’s microsite at better.yahoo.com. A similar interface will appear on Jumpcut. “On the Jumpcut platform people can edit, mix and mash in unlimited ways,” said Nick Chavez, senior director of brand advertising at Yahoo.

The “Be a Better…” campaign builds on Yahoo’s 2006 campaign demonstrating life with and without Yahoo. Chavez said spending on the campaign falls in the seven- to eight-figure range.

The large-scale campaign also speaks to the advertising industry directly in ads highlighting Yahoo’s Panama search marketing system and its mobile search marketing platform, oneSearch.

“Interactive advertising is our business,” said Chavez. “In our own consumer and B2B markets, we need to demonstrate thought leadership in our own advertising. Inviting advertisers to come on in and see what you can do with Yahoo.”

One ad unit still in the works is dubbed the magic coin. The unit appears as an animated pill on select pages across the network, and tempts visitors with information and related content. The magic coin unit will animate across the screen and rest on various pieces of content. Upon rollover or user-initiated action, the coin reveals a bit of information about the content.

“The idea is very much in line with the overall campaign,” said Chavez, who added the idea is to “create Easter eggs [throughout] Yahoo with little facts you can do, learn, and discover in context in a useful way.”

Yahoo and its agencies are testing the ad unit before putting it on the site.

In addition to placements across Yahoo and on the Yahoo network, media was bought on sites including iFilm, Atom Entertainment, Comedy Central, GameSpot, Scripps Network, CNET and Federated Media. For mobile, Yahoo partnered with Greystripe and Third Screen Media to run both graphical and search ads.

In July the campaign extends to theaters with a wrap on popcorn bags. The call-to-action for moviegoers will be to text “9466” to get news, movie listings and nearby theaters.

“It’s a mobile call-to-action as you’re getting your popcorn,” said Chavez. “It’s not telling you to talk on your mobile phone, but send a text message to get Yahoo oneSearch.”

Additional executions include “Be a Better Fashionista!” “Be a Better Traveler!” “Be a Better Shutterbug!” and “Be a better Moviegoer!” The campaign will expand internationally after an initial domestic run.

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