Ask Proclaims 'Information Revolution'

Search Engine Stages Protests and Infiltrates Talk-Show Audience in U.K.

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Brand: Ask
Brand Owner: Ask
Category: Internet
Region: U.K.
Date: March 2007-April 2007
Agency: Lunch Communications
Media Channels: Ambient, PR

Ask's marketing challenge, like that of other search engines, is obvious: Challenge Google's market dominance. To tackle such an awesome competitor, Ask invented a whole new movement, 'The Information Revolution,' using guerrilla methods to invade people's lives and create buzz.
Actors take up placards as part of Ask's 'revolution.'
Actors take up placards as part of Ask's 'revolution.'

The first phase of the 'revolution,' intended to spread the message of online choice, was unbranded. To create intrigue, teams placed promotional decorations on street furniture, while actors staged protests and managed guerilla projections at key sites.

The second phase unveiled the Ask brand and saw a 'Battle Bus' hit the streets, offering laptops and refreshments. The highlight came when 20 actors infiltrated the audience of Channel 5's "The Matthew Wright Show" and perplexed the presenter with questions mentioning the revolution. When the show cut to telephone callers, most also were planted actors. Buoyed by that success, the activity was extended to radio phone-ins, including Radio Five Live and LBC.

Ask experienced a 9% increase in monthly unique users and a 12% lift in unique users in London, while Google suffered a simultaneous 3% decline. Moreover, tracking showed spontaneous awareness of Ask rose 91%, and 44% of those who had seen the advertising did something as a result.

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