SAN FRANCISCO—After four years, Google competitor Yahoo will be reclaiming its iconic billboard off Interstate 80 in San Francisco.
From 1999 to 2011, the Yahoo billboard was a downtown landmark to San Franciscans. It featured rotating messages on a marquee-style board, sometimes product related (“Talk is cheap. Really. Y! Messenger w/voice”), and sometimes whimsical (“Honk if you [heart] zombies. Happy Halloween SF!”). It was a playful and kitschy spectacle, covered in neon lights, and topped with a spiky atomic star.
Yahoo is attempting to reenergize the company. In 2013, Yahoo bought microblogging site Tumblr, and since then has been expanding its social networking reach. Yahoo has been running an outdoor advertising campaign on streets and bus shelters in San Francisco. This local marketing effort precedes a planned national campaign to remind the public of Yahoo’s services.
The old-new billboard is the perfect cap on Yahoo’s efforts to regain their old internet prominence.
The new billboard will not be as flashy as the original. Rather than the light-covered retro aesthetic, the new billboard will feature clean lines and minimal distraction. It will continue to display messages to the public.
Yahoo’s chief marketing officer and head of media, Kathy Savitt, posted a GIF of the new sign’s construction on the company’s Tumblr page.
When officially turned on, its first message will read “It’s good to be back.”