You could wrap yourself in a grey hoodie, but there’s no way to avoid the David Karp-Marissa Mayer PR charm offensive. Taking a breaking from reading US Weekly to moms, ABC News’ Good Morning America had the pair on earlier today to discuss their “match made in digital heaven.” Anchor George Stephanopoulos breathlessly proclaimed the $1.1 billion deal “could change” the way we use the Internet and labeled Mr. Karp as a “hipster high school dropout” before introducing them for an in-studio interview.
Mr. Stephanopoulos began the segment with a topical question for the Yahoo! CEO about the “power of social media” (like Tumblr!) and how people share the fury of natural disasters on such sites. To which, Mrs. Mayer acknowledged that people in the tornado’s path are “uploading photos and sharing their experiences on what it’s like to be there,” as Mr. Karp looked on.
Now that that obligatory question was out of the way, Mr. Stephanopoulos asked Mrs. Mayer how the Tumblr purchase wasn’t going to be a colossal failure, like every other website it has purchased. She responded with what might a solid nominee for the buzz phrase of 2013 award: Tumblr’s “community of creators” are at the heart of the deal, she said, adding that the company will remain hands-off.
About two minutes in, we finally heard from Mr. Karp regarding the $.1. billion question: How the hell is it going to make money?
“The state of advertising on the Web has always been uninspiring to us,” said hipster Mr. Karp, adding that there’s a lot of “good” advertising that exists “out there in the world,” like those fancy ads in Vogue. “Yahoo is the original digital media company and is the perfect partner to help us do that.”
This is truly a match made in digital heaven. Sadly, we didn’t see Mr. Karp and Mrs. Mayer cook up some of Gail Simmons’ outrageous pretzel bars.