Brand republic reported earlier this week that Ask Jeeves is launching a nationwide UK TV ad campaign to support their strategy of rebranding the website as a Question & Answers site. They have also launched an app for the butler character so that users can customise his outfit with over 100k different clothing combinations.
This follows a series of market positioning strategies of the Ask.co.uk search engine over the last few years. Ask Jeeves was arguably the first to launch blended search results that contain pictures and videos in the listings but such innovation was quickly eclipsed by Google's 'universal' algorithm. And last year the butler character returned to the UK search engine's home page as marketing surveys showed that brand recognition of Ask Jeeves increased by a whopping 83%.
Personally i find Ask Jeeves propensity for above the line rebranding to be confusing. What do you think?
Rather than focussing on being a Q & A engine and thus targeting certain query types I think Ask should take a definitive position on whether it is a search engine for adults or kids. Rather than expensive TV ads it should focus on partnerships with sites that fit a certain demographic niche.