Yahoo’s (YHOO) monthlong logo search is at an end, and … well, here it is, but man, I can’t even feign giving a crap.
The skinny on Marissa Mayer’s artistic publicity stunt was that for a 30-day haul, Yahoo posted 29 “runner-up” variations of the company’s logo, culminating in today’s grand finale.
But I think this exercise was a waste in brain cells … for a number of reasons:
Who Cares? (Part 1): For one, there’s the blunt “who cares?” aspect. We got a 30-day tease for something that didn’t end up being — and ultimately was never going to be — too varied from the original. Per Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Savitt:
“We also want to preserve the character that is unique to Yahoo! — fun, vibrant, and welcoming — so we’ll be keeping the color purple, our iconic exclamation point and of course the famous yodel. After all, some things never go out of style.”
Meanwhile, Google (GOOG) has given us variations for years — without a sales pitch, and some meaningful interactivity to boot.
Who Cares? (Part 2): Then there’s the more philosophical “who cares?” aspect. That is, do people really care about logos? Seems like a simple answer (“Yes!”) given how much time, thought and money corporate America dumps into these little pieces of artwork, but you’d be amazed.
For fun, search “Do logos matter?” Or if you’re really lazy, click here, because I’ve done it for you. It’s not to say that there aren’t legitimate studies and decent brain dumps dedicated toward pushing the “logos matter” cause — there are — but there’s an equal number of them drawing out why logos don’t matter. In short, the matter still appears to be very much in the air.
If you think logos matter, though, I’d ask you this: Why display 29 Yahoo logos that people could attach themselves to? That vastly increases the chances that they’ll like one of these also-rans over the one you slap on the homepage for the long haul.
If you think they don’t, then the importance of this publicity stunt is the publicity. And it seemed to draw much more media attention (guilty) than actual consumer give-a-damn.
Other Stuff I Notice More: I don’t know about you, but here’s the first thing I look at when I head to a search site:
But in fairness, my eyes do tend to wander at the rest of the page, which is much more important in Yahoo’s case. And it’s also why I’ve been spending a lot less time on Yahoo. Care to guess why?
OK, I won’t knock Yahoo too hard for the fact that those headlines are typically banal crap about celebrities and low-carb recipes — I know it “works,” it’s just not for me — because it has hitched its horse to content, and content is king.
I actually enjoy Yahoo Sports, which is well-regarded in many circles. It has decent columnists, I love that it gives mixed martial arts a good shake, and its fantasy sports leagues more than hold their own against ESPN.
Of course, now I get this.
And when I go to check my fantasy sports team?
But hey, great logo.
Kyle Woodley is the Deputy Managing Editor of InvestorPlace.com and let this devolve into a hissy fit, but that’s what you get when you spend 30 days screwing around with Mario Paint and ruining my user experience.