Ask.com – Time For Jeeves to Sleep With the Fishes
Expect Jeeves to disappear from Ask Jeeves in the next couple of months as more signs are coming that Barry Diller’s IAC is planning on a way to off the butler mascot of Ask Jeeves, Inc and rebrand into Ask.com. Barry gave the first clue when IAC purchased the Ask Jeeves network earlier in the year when speaking with Wall Street Journal columnist Kara Swisher.
Diller stated “We’re thinking about renaming it,…It probably won’t be called Ask Jeeves.” “What will it be called?” asked Kara Swisher. “Might be one of those words without the other,” Diller answered, adding that the final decision on Ask Jeeves’ new name isn’t “finalized.”
Personally, I’m not sure why but I’ve always loathed the Jeeves persona of Ask Jeeves, which is one reason I rarely ask Jeeves anything. I think I’ve seriously used the Ask Jeeves search engine once or twice to find relevant information (for my own personal searches, not work or journal related), then see that ‘stuck up glorified Captain Crunch’ standing there critiquing me with his snarling nose and eager to correct my pronunciation of the Queen’s language. “It’s not tomAto Mr. Baker, it’s tomahto.” I would be one happy camping clown if Jeeves (the fictional character) was kidnapped by Columbian FARC revolutionaries or went missing.
So, why does Barry Diller want to off Jeeves also? My personal opinion is that Diller highly resembles Jeeves and one day in the IAC office some worker taped a sign on Diller’s back that said “Kick Me, I’m Ask Jeeves.” Diller probably got so fired up he decided to buy the Ask Jeeves company only so he could get rid of the image of that babbling butler that has been haunting Mr. Diller ever since. Of course, this is just a theory (to add to all of the other search rumors buzzing around).
Of course, my theory has merit. For example, check out this side profile of Mr. Diller:
Now, this pic of Jeeves :
Barry, I agree with you, it’s time to off Jeeves.
Now, I would use a search engine branded as Ask.com, or even if they rebranded under the still very popular Excite name. Excite is still used widely in the US and in Europe where Ask (Jeeves) also owns the EU Excite Network. Such names bring a sense of credibility to the search engine service, which should target its direction under one strong brand to fully compete with Google, Yahoo and MSN. Just don’t rename the thing Ask Barry.