For 10 years now, Jeeves, the iconic butler of the Ask Jeeves search engine, has been the person to ask in your quest for answers – well at least that’s what their marketing would have you believe.
But with a new takeover and a change in strategic direction, the Butler is no longer a part of the vision. The problem with building an identity as strong as Jeeves is that when you try to remodel your public image, the mascot tends to drag users back to an older mindset.
Even a makeover of Jeeves earlier this year, which saw him shed some pounds and become a more streamlined search engine icon, has been unable to preserve his job.
The new owners of Ask Jeeves, Barry Diller and his company InterActiveCorp, believe the butler will hamper their efforts to position the search engine as a more comprehensive service. With the search engine now being powered by Teoma technology, the improved functionality leaves no room for misguided branding.
Along with the phasing out Jeeves, the company will be looking to rename the search engine. With no set time frame for the roll out completion, Diller suggested recently at a Goldman Sachs Investment Conference, that they would probably be called “ask” or “ask.com”. Either way, the next couple of months should see details of the change outlined more definitively.