Ask Jeeves ads drop butler

The search engine Ask Jeeves UK is dropping the butler figure from its advertising strategy as it attempts to reposition the brand in a new television campaign through TBWA/London.

The butler, based on PG Wodehouse's immortal gentleman's gentleman Jeeves, has been the mainstay of the search engine's advertising strategy since it launched in the UK in early 2000.

Ask Jeeves UK has dropped the character following the decision that the butler was no longer representative of the wide range of services the brand now offers.

Aylin Savkan, the marketing director at Ask Jeeves, said: "The new creative aims to display to the consumer that Jeeves can do more than answer questions."

Jonathan Mildenhall, the joint managing director of TBWA/London, said: "The last campaign we did using the butler was great at driving traffic to the website, but not really at helping build brand saliency. The values of the Ask Jeeves brand weren't being bolstered in the right way."

The new ad strategy depicts embarrassing situations and bad experiences that could have been avoided, had those responsible used Ask Jeeves.

The ads were written by Carol Haig, Paul Silburn and Peter Reid. Art direction was by Phil Martin and Carl Broadhurst. The campaign was directed by Jon Greenhalgh through Stark Films. Media planning and buying is by Media Planning Group.