Ask.com Says It Knows Where Jesus Is
I have a sense of humor. But a lot of people don’t, not when it comes to Jesus. With that in mind, I think I’d be hesitant (nay, 10-foot-pole distanced) to launch an ad campaign with a Jesus joke in it. Ask.com, it would seem, is just brave enough to try.
Billboards and posters have begun appearing in major metropolitan areas (like New York and San Francisco – most likely because this is riskier in the red states) with the slogan:
"The Algorithm Constantly Finds Jesus"
What Ask.com has not constantly found, however, is warm reception to its past marketing efforts. Search Engine Watch’s Frank Watson, who says billboards have propped up between Manhattan and Brooklyn, reminds readers of Ask’s past monkey business:
Remember those monkeys on the TV commercials – where Ask was laying claim to making you more human?
Was this new campaign a response to the backlash about their support of evolution? And are we now to think that Ask is a Christian search engine?
Well, perhaps we’re to think that Ask ascribes a little too closely to the adage "there’s no such thing as bad publicity." After all, none of us were talking about them before this.
It wasn’t too long ago that Information Revolution posters sprang up on the London Underground, where concerned netizens were urged to help thwart Google’s information monopoly.
Though the Jesus ads have, as reported, copyright information in the corner of them to reveal Ask’s sponsorship, the Information Revolution campaign was not so forthcoming with that information.
Lack of transparency earned Ask a lot of flack, but it remains to be seen if it gained them users. And while an algorithm that’s good at finding Jesus may seem benign to some crowds, to others, it’s tantamount to blasphemy.
Or at least belittlement of their faith.
Good luck with that, Jeeves. You’ll need it.