Power of tactical advertising

See how the search engine brand worked closely with newspapers to deliver an eye-catching and topical return to the limelight.


Ask Jeeves worked with newspapers to harness the power of contextual advertising as part of its re-launch campaign.

Advertising objective

After dropping Jeeves from its name in 2006, Ask lost users and found itself competing with generic search engines in a low interest marketplace dominated by one major brand. In order to stimulate growth and recover lost users, Ask re-introduced its much loved brand ambassador Jeeves as part of its re-launch campaign.

Campaign Description

Firstly, the brand needed to announce the return of Jeeves. Newspapers were an ideal environment to lend this news some clout, with dominant fireplace ad formats ensuring Jeeves was given a prominent platform.

Ask Jeeves then needed to make itself feel relevant to its audience. The search engine achieved this through leveraging the power of newspapers to deliver highly contextual, relevant and targeted messages to consumers.

Knowing users were most likely to be interested in topics such as celebrity, health and fashion, Ask Jeeves worked with the newspaper to source opportunities for contextually targeted messages in relevant editorial.

Fulfilling the campaign required close co-operation between the media agency, Ask Jeeves, the creative agency and the newspaper. The paper was briefed on Ask Jeeves’ preferred editorial environments and a ‘blank’ creative template was lodged with the title.

Prior to each insertion the newspaper highlighted the planned editorial that would match the brief. The client and creative team agreed on a copy line which was first tested in the search engine then submitted for approved by the editor. Finally, the paper inserted the line into the creative template and set it on the relevant page for printing. This process was repeated on 16 separate occasions, each time within just a few hours.

Why newspaper advertising?

Newspapers offer brands the opportunity to harness the power of relevant content. The diverse range of different sections and types of paper allow advertisers to tap into specific demographics and specific mind set.

Newspapers are the only media where an advertiser can have a campaign idea late in the day and still communicate it the following morning. Final copy for an advert can be delivered at very short notice – even by the evening of that night’s print run of the newspaper.

Ask jeeves article


Since re-launch, Ask Jeeves has achieved a 25% uplift in site traffic.

Sarah Bartlett, Marketing Director, Ask Jeeves said “This campaign is a great example of what can be achieved when all parties work in unison towards a common goal.  We knew that in order to make the re-launch a success we would have to push the boundaries of traditional media. Thanks to this creative and highly collaborative approach, the campaign really came to life and delivered positive results for our business”.

The ad was nominated in the Creative Media Partnership category of the 2009 Awards for National Newspaper Advertising.

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