Advertising an Inferior Product


Tuesday, 25 September 2007 at 5:00 am Pacific USA Time.

I saw a commercial 2 nights ago for Ask.com. Their ads stink. First, they were about algorithms, but they never really showed how your search results were going to be better than Google or Yahoo. They claimed that you’d preview the page in a tiny window, but that’s really just a visual of how the site lays out. It’s not like you were previewing intense content, at least not from how it looked on the commercials.

Now, their ads are taking shots at how plain Google’s website is, and they’re saying you COULD be searching "like this." They then click a few things, and the website gets a huge background image, like a computer desktop.

Is that really what our online searching was missing? A big picture of a flower behind what we’re doing? That’s like picking a car based on the colour you can get on your license plate frame.

It reminded me of what Seth Godin said about the Microsoft Zune. If your product isn’t an iPod killer, then who is going to buy something that is or is perceived as inferior? Ask.com, I ask you the same thing. If your product isn’t better, what are you doing?


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Categories: That's Bad Marketing

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