Trying to create buzz: Yahoo!’s talent show

October 24, 2006

News:  In Yahoo! talent show is a sign of desperation, Mashable blog reports about Yahoo!’s video talent show, the winner of which gets $50,000 and a show on Yahoo video.  Mashable writes: “This is pretty much typical of Yahoo’s backward strategy. First off, a contest is no way to build long term value – it gets a little press buzz, but you can’t deny that Google is going to come out ahead here. But more annoying is the way they launched it: with a ‘pretty’ professional presenter in a studio reading some lines. That’s typical of Yahoo’s patronizing way of believing that professional content will win the day.”

Analysis:  I don’t see this contest as negatively as Mashable blog.  Not sure why it’s “patronizing” for Yahoo! to hire a professional ad team to prepare the Intro ad for the talent show.  YouTube did the same thing for its Underground rock band talent show, and Mashable seems pretty keen on YouTube.  Both contests aim to “discover” and reward some unknown talent.  There is nothing patronizing about that, to me.  After all, isn’t that a part of the American dream?

Mashable may be right that there could be some desperation to Yahoo!’s contest, given its fierce competition with darling Google and last earnings report.  But Yahoo’s gotta do something to revive its business and generate some positive momentum.  Staying competitive in online video has to be one of Yahoo!’s top priorities.