FRANCISCO, Calif. – April 1, 2006- Yelp (www.yelp.com),
the new personal recommendation site for finding real opinions on
everything local, announced today its acquisition of the rights to
the Pets.com dog puppet personality. The purchase surprised some
industry watchers but was met with widespread appeal from Yelp’s
might not have done a lot of things right back in the day, but they
knew how to create an icon of the times that really spoke to the
people. While conducting our own mascot search, the idea of
resurrecting their sock puppet dog seemed like a no brainer," said
Nish Nadaraja, Yelp’s Director of Marketing.
puppet, voiced and brought to life by comedian Michael Ian Black, was
really nothing more than a socket puppet with button eyes and a Timex
watch around its neck, but that did not stop millions of adoring fans
from falling in love with the lovable creation. The puppet, in fact,
gained more fame via commercials and other TV appearances than
Pets.com, but was sadly "sent to the dog pound" after the demise
of the internet start-up.
negotiations with the puppet’s agents and representation, a deal
was struck in late March 2006 for the "use and likeness of the sock
puppet" to become the sole property of Yelp.
Stoppelman, co-founder of Yelp and owner of his own dog Darwin, had
this to say: "In the past we downplayed the canine implications of
our name, but after reading some inspirational discussions on our
Talk Boards, we realized that the time had come for Yelp to have more
of personality. And while I would have liked to have used my own
puppy, he wasn’t nearly as well trained as need be for something of
PR Team has already started the branding process for "Yelpy the
Dog" and is expected to start a small to medium sized local TV
launch, along with some unique product placement opportunities that
are still under wraps.
future looks bright for Yelp and Yelpy," quipped Mr. Stoppelman. "We aim to show our competition that our reviewers’ barks, or
rather opinions, are indeed as strong as their respective bites."
amount of the purchase was not disclosed.