Ask Jeeves to Rebrand as Ask
In what should be a very good move for Barry Diller’s IAC, rumors are flying around MarketWatch that IAC will be dropping the Jeeves from Ask Jeeves and rebranding as Ask. In the piece, Biller is quoted as saying “We’re thinking about renaming it,…It probably won’t be called Ask Jeeves.”
“What will it be called?” asked Wall Street Journal columnist 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.”
Guessing that they won’t be rebranding the search engine to Jeeves, changing the name to Ask is a smart move. I may sound a little opinionated in this but personally I have always hated the concept of asking some English butler for search results. One reason why I rarely ask Jeeves anything.
I thought that English butlers went out of style in the ’80’s with Dudley Moore’s Arthur films and the Pink Panther movies. Not to mention that according to various accounts, many Europeans perceive Jeeves as “a gay butler” and not a source of useful information. 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) just acquired the EU version of Excite from Tiscali for 6.1 million Euros. 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. And I’m sure someone out there will be wearing a shirt that says “Kiss My Ask” to the next Search Engine Strategies. Just don’t rename the thing Excite Jeeves.