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Monday, September 26, 2005

Ask Jeeves Has Sacked the Butler

Posted by @ 10:02 pm

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 “”. Either way, the next couple of months should see details of the change outlined more definitively.

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

Discussion (11 - comments)

I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed my children will be when they find out that Ask Jeeves is gone. They had a lot of fun reading the website and asking questions.

I believe the new owner will be disappointing many kids who looked forward to seeing thier questions answered.

By mom - April 18, 2006

I’ve always gone to Ask Jeeve’s whenever I’ve needed help to find information. At the same time my friends often come to me for the same thing; If I couldn’t find it then it simply didn’t exist:)
Maybe you could change it to
“Ask-Kat”:) Sound’s good to me and I’d never forget the site name.

By Its-Kat - May 1, 2006

“Ask Jeeves” – it’s a bit like “Home James” – and the new owners decided to throw it out. Good luck making your new version work for you. You had a concept that many people connected to at a deep level – I don’t see how you’ll recreate that.

By Anonymous - June 15, 2006


By Anonymous - November 7, 2006

how coulday1 take ova?
ask jeeves was da best if i eva needed help wit a question n skwol i always got it
but now dat he is gone well i am not goin to use it anymore
good luck wit tryin to make ur own new version if it

By Anonymous - November 16, 2006

Once again….big business idiots with now idea what we REAL WORLD people need and use…Jeeves was a great concept and an even better help !! Making him shed pounds to vamp his image just shows what a bunch of morons you are to think that the actual picture of Jeeves was something that ppl went to the site for…Just in case you dont know you corporate minded fools, we went there for information…..Next time think b4 you take off something that is helping ppl just so you can profit off something else which im sure will be as useless as you are !!!

By Anonymous - December 12, 2006

I agree. What they called “misguided branding” was a brilliant concept that would have kept people coming back and using their search engine reguardless of what other changes they made. Now it is just another search enging without any appeal. Now I use google.

By Anonymous - March 17, 2007

I’m so disapointed in the corparate small mindedness. What a waste of time and resources. To think that a rather special brand can be dropped like a leppers ear.
Shame on you all, you’re just going to blend in with all the rest.

By boxerr - May 23, 2007

My daughter is sitting behind me doing an assignment on South Korea. She was struggling to find the information in a manner that she could understand. Naturally, I told her to “Ask Jeeves”. After her many attempts she said “I can’t find it Dad, I just keep getting”. I stopped what I was doing and tried to find it. OOOOOh Nooooooo! It has been “SOLD OUT”. How stupid are you people. “Things go better with Coke”, “The Golden Arches”, “Just Do It” ….. are you getting the idea? If it’s not broke … don’t fix it!!! … Jeeves was a brilliant peice of marketing. It was an icon that could be associated with, and not just from my era, “The Nanny” has an all wise and cleaver Butler. Jeeves personalised the site, allowed people to identify with something. Now it is clinical, uninviting and more complicted to use.

Well done guys … who justified their job with that Moronic Idea.

By blewsteele - October 25, 2007

Well sometimes people amke huge mistakes and pay the price. I feel you have made a very unwise marketing choice as many many adults and children used jevves for school research. I hope you are sucessful but you have lost our family.

By Anonymous - October 28, 2007

Well this just proves my point that people are getting dumber by the sec..
To remove Jeeves a very well known searcher for the reasons unknown to me is ludicrist!
I know your company name and I’m sure I will forget it as soon as I post this, while I will probably never forget Ask Jeeves! Hope ya don’t think its replacement will get off the ground.


By Anonymous - July 21, 2008

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