After three years, search engine Ask is reverting back to its original name Ask Jeeves.
In a multimillion-pound attempt to take on search giant Google, the all-knowing butler character is returning as the brand identity of Ask.com.
Jeeves was the digital talisman for the search engine from 1996 until early 2006, when he was dropped along with the Ask Jeeves name after the £1bn takeover by IAC in 2005. Ask has now secured investments from IAC for UK marketing activity in the second quarter of this year.
Jeeves has been reintroduced to the search engine’s branding and advertising after a makeover that has seen his pinstripe trousers and coattail jacket replaced by a trendier image (see picture).
Research found 83 per cent of UK consumers still identify the search engine by the Ask Jeeves name and character – and there will be a national media campaign covering TV, press, radio and an online campaign demonstrating his comeback.
As part of the relaunch, Jeeves will be given Twitter and Facebook accounts. The Facebook account will be updated with a travel diary and “pictures” of where Jeeves has been during his three-year ‘leave’.
The television campaign for the search engine uses the strapline “Glad you asked”, with a range of 10-second advertisements that match questions to programmes such as Hell’s Kitchen, Grand Designs and America’s Next Top Model.
Cesar Mascaraque, the search service’s managing director said: “Our users have emphatically told us that they find Jeeves enhances their search experience... they see Jeeves as approachable and trustworthy and, above all, helpful.”