Setting aside for a moment the credibility gap inherent in any new Yahoo product launch – let alone a search product – you have to admire the company's brazenness in talking up the ad potential for Axis, its new lightweight browser geared toward smartphones and tablets.
Below are a few choice comments Ethan Batraski, director of product management for Yahoo Search, shared with AdExchanger in discussing the new product (which for the record does not launch with any advertising or data collection).
On mobile search retargeting, Batraski says, "There's a huge opportunity to use that data. The advertiser benefits and the user benefits."
On data: "With Axis, because of the experience of the browser, I can target on a number of things. I can see what your search history is, what you're browsing history is.
On new formats: "As we make search more visual, you start to think about display ads. What if I could take a screen shot of the landing page for the advertiser and drop them in among results?"
On cross-device addressability: "[Users are] reachable within all three devices [PC, smartphone, tablet]. We can have a conversation with them across all three devices."
This is one reason marketers continue to adore Yahoo, despite the mishigas. Whereas Google, Facebook and other platform giants rarely talk openly about their ad targeting strengths, except in the context of user privacy, Yahoo seems to embrace it. To some extent you can chalk up the lack of reticence to its underdog status. Privacy watchdogs and legislators don't perceive Yahoo as a threat, so it runs on a longer tether. But to a larger extent the openness is simply Yahoo's legacy; the company was an early adopter (inventor even) of search retargeting and behavioral advertising and so the practices are expected.