Tag Archives | Ask Jeeves

Ask.com: A Search Engine in Search of Character

Observant readers may have noticed that my look at the new version of Ask.com contained no mentions of the fact that Ask used to be known as Ask Jeeves, pining for that old name, or clever butler references. That was intentional. There oughta be a statute of limitations on clichéd references to things which are no longer true about technology products and services. And it’s been two and a half years since Ask.com dumped Jeeves, so I figured it deserved to be judged on its current merits rather than obsolete branding.

But…

After I finished up that post, I happened across an article in the UK’s Guardian about a new Ask.com ad campaign that coincides with the update to the search engine, and it got me thinking. Ask is far from the largest search engine, but it may be the most heavily-advertised one–for years, it’s attempted to make inroads against Google in part through multiple barrages of TV spots. But Ask, which in its Ask Jeeves days at least had a distinct personality, leaps from advertising message to advertising message with abandon, always in search of a new way to differentiate itself from the crowd but never holding onto a message for long. After the jump, a retrospective.

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