In Honor of Its 20th Anniversary, Yahoo Reclaims Its Iconic San Francisco Billboard

The Yahoo! billboard sign in San Francisco at dusk (2011)

Yahoo has reclaimed something that it 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 seen 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 as they passed through San Francisco was a thing — a symbol of being home. For many years, the billboard featured some fun messages, rotating 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 the time when Yahoo’s billboard came down, it was perhaps mostly a cost-cutting measure. The company was in trouble with all the layoffs and struggling to remain relevant. The rent for the space, following Yahoo’s departure, was going for $ 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. Just looking at bus shelters, along streets in the downtown area, and elsewhere, Yahoo signs were abound. As the San Francisco Chronicle noted last month, this new campaign is part of a three-month regional effort that leads 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 for at least another decade.

Here’s an animated GIF of Yahoo’s “reclaimed billboard”:
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