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Old 02-12-2006   #1
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Goodbye Jeeves

Ask Jeeves is to lose the "Jeeves" butler by the end of this month.

http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060212-150816
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Old 02-13-2006   #2
ewc21
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I wonder why Barry Diller does not like the Butler.
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Old 02-13-2006   #3
sem4u
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I don't really like the butler either and I don't go to Ask to search.

I think some people will wonder where the butler has gone. I know of some people who will either search at Google or want to go and 'Ask Jeeves'.
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Old 02-13-2006   #4
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Talking bye jeeves!!! I didnt know you all that well but see ya around.. take care k.

Arnt they taking a huge risk in loosing brand recognition??? seems that way!!

is askjeeves still going to be taking paid results from google?

I liked the whole butler IDEA. o well!! perhaps things would have taken off if they called it askjeffrey.com??
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Old 02-14-2006   #5
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I was told last week that the sponsored listing contract between Google and Ask will expire in 2007.
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Old 02-15-2006   #6
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I thought the butler was kind of a cute branding element, as it implied a level of personal service that others might not offer. He tied in nicely with their emphasis on plain language questions (vs. Boolean search strings).

Having said that, Ask.com could be a very powerful brand in itself. I think a media campaign to build Ask.com could be effective - the vast majority of the web-surfing population has no idea who the AskJeeves butler is or what he stood for, and won't miss him. "Ask" is simple and memorable.
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Old 02-15-2006   #7
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Ask Who?

Anyone have any idea how big AJ's market share was at the height of the company? I remember a time when a lot of people I knew were using the site and it seemed like the butler branding was working for them.

By losing Jeeves, Ask certainly has some work to do. If they don't pour money into rebranding themselves, they run the risk of having branding problems that other generic site names face. When the Mining Company changed to About.com (in 1999), they lost the brand at a time when they couldn't spend a lot of money to rebrand themselves.
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Old 02-15-2006   #8
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initially, the natural language search was interesting...once you did a few searches and saw the dismal results, though, the luster wore off.
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Old 02-16-2006   #9
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Now, I can't recall where I said this was happening, but when I did, I was shat upon by folks pointing out Jeeves was still in place and always would be. I knew I'd read about this a few months ago.

While Ask may suffer some "brand erosion", it's not like this sort of thing doesn't happen - companies reinvent their names/brands/images all the time.

Big picture, my personal feeling is that tieing your brand to a hokey image is over - tie your brand to solid results and useful content - that's what users remember...

Again, just my opinion, but Ask.com would seem to have a more universal appeal than Ask Jeeves. Ask.com = question, which means answers (potentially). Ask Jeeves = bulter from England - might work locally, but not globally.

Changing brand/image is all about long-term thinking - this shows that's a concern for them - good move.
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Old 02-17-2006   #10
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They Are Still Big In Some Areas

Ask Jeeves has long seen dismal results for the adult market, but believe it or not, they actually do quite well with children. On my network of kids sites they are one of my biggest referrers. Google is of course the biggest, but yahooligans and ask jeeves for kids send more traffic my way than yahoo and ask.com do on the adult sites I run.
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Old 02-18-2006   #11
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Can Jeeves be hired?
I wonder if they would be willing to sell the rights to use Jeeves
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Old 02-18-2006   #12
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Barry is Right On

Barry's butler should have been ex long ago. His presence said nothing as to search and in general was a hinderance to enhancing corporate value, no matter how cutesy. This move allows Ask to find a more appropriate slogan or symbol, and should, over the long run, help to increase shareholder value.
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Old 02-20-2006   #13
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As far as Jeeves' availability for employment... Please don't consider this legal advice, but I'd guess that you might be able to use a butler symbol in general and even the name "Jeeves" outside of a web search, information retrieval, etc. context. Ask Jeeves, Inc. didn't invent the idea of a butler named Jeeves (but they DID trademark the name in relation to web search, information retrieval, etc.).

A quick check at uspto.gov showed quite a few Jeeves-related trademark filings related to the search engine, along with various "Jeeves" trademarks for heated towel warmers, cleaning services, limousine service, etc.

If you steer clear of those areas which have been trademarked (or are in use already but not formally registered) you should be fine. I doubt if the corporate bosses will license "Ask Jeeves" or any search related trademarks in the near future lest they confuse people while the rebranding is taking place.
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Old 02-22-2006   #14
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Ask Alfred

I truly think that to be successful with a butler as your lead - you need the best branded bulter in the world.

Hence - Ask Alfred. No one can top Batman's Butler - He never complains, keeps secrets and is always there in a jam.

The worst branded servant - Ask Alice (from the Brady Bunch) What a jumbled up search that would be.

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Old 02-23-2006   #15
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Personally I feel that Jeeves represented more than just an online image/brand, he made users feel like they were getting a more personalized service. Instead of simply typing a question and getting a response, the Jeeves Butler symbolized an online personality sometimes interactive; much more than just a mere image. People like the what jeeves symbolized; a more personalized, less mechanic approach to an otherwise unfeeling, ordinary task. I think the decision to retire jeeves will be a step in destroying that which makes ask.com different than every other seach engine out there.
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Old 02-23-2006   #16
Carlos Chacón
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascabelles
Personally I feel that Jeeves represented more than just an online image/brand, he made users feel like they were getting a more personalized service. Instead of simply typing a question and getting a response, the Jeeves Butler symbolized an online personality sometimes interactive; much more than just a mere image. ...
I’m agreeing with this.
Ask Jeeves at least tried to be unique and really different from the others.
It is a shame that this kind of “personality” disappears from the SE market.
Good bay Mr. Jeeves!
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Old 02-23-2006   #17
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Well, it is a sad day when the ony search mascot goes bye bye, and I for one have made my sorrow into a few songs.

Feel free to come on over and sing with me.
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Old 02-23-2006   #18
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did someone say sing!
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Old 02-23-2006   #19
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LOL, if you want to sing any of those songs Danny (and there is a handy midi on one for backup track), let me know and I'll put 'em up for you
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Old 02-24-2006   #20
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Jeeves Leaves Video

A tribute video to Jeeves...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mO50pnBD0M
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