Yahoo rolls out new phase of $100 million ad campaign

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc will spend up to $85 million on the second phase of its $100 million ad campaign, as the Internet portal seeks to revive its growth and reconnect with consumers.

The campaign will focus more on its array of online websites devoted to fantasy sports and news. It also takes a thinly veiled shot at search giant Google Inc in an online video.

Since the $100 million spend Yahoo began in September, it has seen the number of unique visitors to its various sites decline 2.6 percent to 155.6 million in April and total page views on its properties have declined 11.4 percent, according to comScore.

Google, Microsoft Corp and Facebook all posted increases in U.S. visitors and page views during the same period, comScore said.

In March, Yahoo Chief Executive Carol Bartz told reporters the advertising campaign, which had spent between $15 million and $25 million for the first phase, had proven to be successful in many overseas markets but did not work that well in the United States.

Yahoo worked with ad agency Ogilvy & Mather on the first phase and has retained Goodby Silverstein & Partners to lead the new push.

A video on the Yahoo corporate blog introducing the new ad campaign begins with an image of a sparse white web site with an empty box in the middle that looks remarkably like the Google home page. A voice-over in the ad says “You come to this place so you can leave.”

Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic