The Algorithm Is Offensive

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Since we first covered the Ask Algorithm campaign May 4, IAC has committed $100 million to expanding the Crispin, Porter + Bogusky designed “viral” campaign nation wide. The original stand alone obscure references to the algorithm have been complimented with an Ask logo on billboard advertisements, a positive step forward.

However one billboard is sure to turn heads and it’s for all the wrong reasons:

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Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter probably hated the algorithm as well, is he on the next billboard?

What in the world is Ask thinking? What sort of warped company uses the name of a terrorist in an effort to increase market share for a search engine?

Given that the Algorithm finds Jesus you’d think the Algorithm could find sensitivity training as well.

The zany thing about the whole campaign is that Ask actually knows how to run a decent advertising campaign. The Ask ads appearing on TechCrunch through the FM Network provide compelling information and even the occasional third party product endorsement. They maintain decorum whilst building much needed product and brand awareness for a search engine that most people outside of tech haven’t even heard of. Do a straw poll of 6 non-tech/ geek friends about whether they have heard of Ask, the closest they usually can get is Ask Jeeves, and they normally add “is that still going?” Algorithms mean nothing to this group and this should be the core target market for Ask.

(photo via Search Engine Roundtable)

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