Yahoo has reclaimed something that had been lost for the past few years. The company has installed a billboard along a stretch of Interstate 80 in San Francisco. While that may not seem like news, it’s significant because this is the same billboard that the company had from 1999 to 2011.
For some, seeing the giant Yahoo sign along the freeway while passing through San Francisco was a thing — a symbol of home. For many years, the billboard featured fun messages, which rotated from time to time, and in this go-around, that practice will continue. In a blog post, Yahoo chief marketing officer and head of media Kathy Savitt wrote that the first message will read, “It’s good to be back.”
If you look at Yahoo’s decision to take the billboard down, it was perhaps mostly a cost-cutting measure. The company was suffering with layoffs and struggling to remain relevant. The rent for the space, following Yahoo’s departure, was $65,000 a month, or $80,000 if the neon lighting was used.
But over the past few weeks, Yahoo has been starting to ramp up its outdoor advertising throughout San Francisco. At bus shelters, along streets in the downtown area, and elsewhere in the city, Yahoo signs abound. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted last month, this new campaign is part of a three-month regional effort leading up to a nationwide campaign.
Is Yahoo back? Well, there’s no telling how long the new billboard ad will remain, but based on the enthusiasm that the company exuded in its blog post, Yahoo might be hoping to keep it up for at least another decade.