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Ask Bows New Campaign, Slogan as Jeeves Retires

This weekend AskJeeves officially became Ask.com, in a move designed by Barry Diller to make the search engine the focal point of his Web conglomerate, IAC/InteraActiveCorp. The Web firm has hired the ad shop TBWAChiatDay to create a multimillion-dollar rebranding campaign for the search engine. Ask's new message, "Use Tools, Feel Human," highlighting the site's user-friendliness, bows on the Web this week, with TV ads to follow next week. In one ad, a scientist asks an orangutan how Ask's tools facilitate using the Internet. The ape says, "Without tools we'd just be, just be... animals in pants." Ask execs decided to ditch Jeeves from the name because they wanted the site to be viewed as a general search engine, rather than a site for asking specific questions. To humor Jeeves fans, the Web site conducted a weeklong farewell to the semi-popular butler, who's been dreaming about his new future of leisure, as consumers vote on what he should do next and leave him messages on a farewell card. Ask is the fifth largest search engine on the Web, after Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and AOL; including affiliate sites Excite, iWon and MyWay, Ask has a market share of 5.5. percent, according to Nielsen/NetRatings' December data.

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