Ask.com brings AskJeeves back to the UK

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Ask.com in the UK has returned to its Ask Jeeves branding after a three-year hiatus. The Jeeves brand was dropped shortly after Ask was acquired by IAC in 2005.

UK users now have the option to choose between AskJeeves.co.uk and Ask.co.uk.

“In the UK Jeeves has a very warm brand halo. So using him we're uniquely positioned to relay our core improvements in search service over the past year,” said Nicholas Graham, VP and spokesperson for Ask.com, “He's a welcome blast from the past but the tools he's using are very 2.0.”

Developed in 1997, Jeeves is a cartoon British butler who serves as a mascot of the engine. Last year, a YouGov poll of UK adults 18 and up found that 83% of respondents wanted the mascot back.

To get the word out Ask has launched Facebook and Twitter initiatives in which Jeeves will post daily questions, images, videos and diaries, as well as interact with consumers. A marketing campaign also has launched and includes TV, radio, online, promotions and PR elements.

In the current economic environment it's important for brands to realize that all of their various markets are not the same, Graham said.

“It's a positive thing with such a competitive search marketplace sometimes to take a market by market brand approach,” he said.

Ask also will host “Question of the Day” events based on the top questions being asked on the site. This week, a free lunch will be held to answer the question “Is there such a thing as a free lunch?” and Ask will team up with celebrities to answer the question “How can I look good on a budget?”

The UK version of the site has a revamped 3D Jeeves character whose clothing is designed by Gieves & Hawkes and styled by Savile Row tailors.

For American fans of Jeeves, Ask offers a Jeeves branded skin on its homepage. US users also can access the engine by visiting AskJeeves.com.

Ask currently has 15 million monthly users in the UK and 75 million in the US.

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