Yahoo’s new “You” ad: If you don’t cry a little, you have no soul

feathersOgilvy & Mather’s first TV ad out of the gate for Yahoo’s $100 million marketing campaign to turn the friggin’ company around, as Carol Bartz says, pushes all the right buttons for people who feel the Internet hasn’t lived up to its promise to makeover our lives yet.

Peter Kafka at AllThingsD says he wishes the ad would demonstrate some of Yahoo’s products. I think Kafka is afraid to embrace the joy of life. If I want product specs, I’ll hit Tom’s Hardware.

blurpThe spot is officially titled Anthem, but it skips that and opens instantly with the word “You” in voiceover. Smart. Then, instead of trying to demo Flickr’s iPhone app, it gives us shot after shot of You Could Be This Cool. One fabulous, fabulous dress after another. A dog with super face-slurping skills. People in other countries who are having way more fun than us. But wait, we can play soccer with them, how cool is that! There’s your product demo, Pete.

flirtYahoo, in these scenes, is the life you wish you had. When the voiceover lady promises we can “flirt,” the video cuts to a boy and a girl so totally NOT flirting. Until they both burst out in grins. It’s way more play than I ever get online, but see? Yahoo offers me hope.

I’ve been put off for years by Yahoo’s Web design, color schemes and those damned exclamation points all over the place. This is a new Yahoo, as surprisingly pretty as Bing. But Bing is a pretty place on the Internet. Yahoo is only a pretty place on TV. Yahoo’s websites are still too cluttered, jumbled and garish for my blue-state tastes. It’s hard for me to stay on them longer than a minute. Yahoo’s TV persona makes me want to go live there. In real life, I’ve tried to give Yahoo a chance, but always find myself waiting a polite few seconds before I reach for the Back button.

The full video clip is below.