Ask Jeeves to Start Advertising Again, with TBWA/Chiat/Day SF

Ask Jeeves, the search engine known for its trademark butler of the same name, announced today that it has chosen TBWA/Chiat/Day San Francisco as their agency of record. This marks a return to advertising for Ask Jeeves, which took a two-year hiatus to focus on improving the company's core search technology and overall user experience.

Overall billings were not disclosed, but online, out-of-home, and print advertising will be a part of the mix. Heather Staples, Chief Marketing Officer at Ask Jeeves, said that the budget is "modest" and the company will reply on TBWA/Chiat/Day to recommend the best media mix, but that TV spending will most likely not be included in the campaign.

Staples said that the timing was right to begin advertising again, but not for branding purposes. "The campaign is more about evolving the consumer perception of the Ask Jeeves brand, letting users know about our capabilities which have expanded significantly over the past two years."

The company is wrapping up an in-house OOH campaign that runs from March 24- April 24 in San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles on bus panels, phone kiosks, and transit shelters. The month-long campaign included such taglines as "The First Place You Search Will Be The Last Place You Look" and "Search That Never Sleeps."

The first campaign from TBWA/Chiat/Day is expected to launch in late spring or early summer.

Ask Jeeves today also plans to announce upgrades to its site with a "Smart Search" upgrade, which would help users more quickly and intuitively find what they seek on the Web by making it easier to tailor search queries for information, pictures, products or news.

This represents Ask Jeeves' entry into a search field currently dominated by Google, the company credited for moving Web search into the mainstream.

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