Ask Jeeves returns to TV for first time in 18 months

Ask Jeeves is set to return to offline marketing for the first time in 18 months and launch a range of mobile apps as it looks to maintain its position as the “market leader” in question and answer (Q&A).

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The offline marketing campaign aims to focus on “real people, asking real questions” and will include outdoor and local regional TV activity, which will roll out nationally later in 2012 if successful.

Sarah Bartlett, the Ask network’s global marketing director, says: “We brought [brand ambassador] Jeeves back a couple of years ago and our TV activity was really emphasising his comeback but now we’re going to focus on our heritage of Q&A and how people actually use the site.”

In 2012, Ask Jeeves is set to launch two mobile apps. One will be based around its “question of the day”, which features on its homepage and sometimes includes brand takeovers.

The other app will follow the launch of the desktop site’s UK community section, which will see its users answering questions for other visitors, a similar proposition to rivals Yahoo! Answers, Quora and WikiAnswers and also a replica of a US Ask product.

Bartlett says: “Last year we focused single-mindedly on building our unique Q&A value proposition, with search still at the core. We are really looking at mobile now as since we’ve seen usage doubling since we launched our mobile site in April.”

In the last six months, average monthly unique users have grown 9% to 23 million, Ask Jeeves claims. Bartlett attributes this not only to the launch of the mobile site, but a November redesign that highlights its Q&A proposition.

Ask Jeeves is the fifth biggest search engine in the UK, attracting 1.8% of all searches, according to Experian Hitwise. Market leader Google dominates the sector, with more than 90% of all searches in the UK done via its .com and .co.uk sites.

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