Rants In Our Pants

Y!ou and Yahoo!: When Slogans Go W!rong

Yahoo announced a new punctuationally challenged brand campaign Tuesday — and an oddly placed exclamation point was only the start of the unintentional comedy.

By (@JRRaphael)

September 22, 2009

Yahoo Brand CampaignYou’ve gotta hand it to Yahoo: No other tech company has consistently served up perfect punchlines on a golden platter. I’m actually starting to wonder if some humor writer out there is paying these guys off to keep giving us such great material.

The purple profit eater’s latest laughable move revolves around its much discussed new brand campaign, officially unveiled Tuesday morning. Despite rumors of a “Size Matters” slogan, the Y guys ended up going with the equally amusing “Y!ou and Yahoo!” — or, to be more descriptive, “Y!ou, Yahoo!, and confusingly placed punctuation.”

Then again, we may be jumping to conclusions; the internal exclamation could actually be the clever use of !Kung, a language spoken by the Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. The language (as anyone who saw The Gods Must Be Crazy knows) uses exclamation points in different places to denote clicking sounds made by the tongue. If that’s the case, Yahoo’s new slogan may actually be pronounced “Y-NUK!-ou and Yahoo-NUK!,” which would be both culturally diverse and rather elegant.

Still, whether the midword exclamation placement was silly or a stroke of pure ge!nius, the slogan didn’t debut without a healthy dose of irony. Within minutes of Yahoo announcing its new youandyahoo.com Web site — billed as the online hub of the new user-centric brand campaign — the site went down. And remained unavailable to users for a good half-hour.

You and Yahoo

Oh Yahoo — keep on delivering, you delightful little devil, you. Yang may be out of the limelight, but you clearly have plenty of other yahoos to continue the unintentional humor tr!adition.

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