And speaking of Ask, they've been making some other bold moves lately. They are one of the sponsors of NBC's new reality tv show, Treasure Hunters (throwing out a gratuitous link to a friend's Treasure Hunters forum here).
Ask is featured prominently in the show itself, as contestants must use the Ask search engine to discover answers to clues, which ultimately help them find the treasure they are seeking. In addition, Treasure Hunters has an online game for the public to play, which carries a hefty cash prize for the winner. This online game also requires players to use Ask.com to help them solve the online puzzles in their quest for the treasure. (Actually, "requires" might be the wrong word to use here, because you don't HAVE to use Ask, but the way it's presented pretty much guarantees that 99.9% of the players will use it).
I think it's a great way to get some public awareness out there. Much better, in fact, than just doing things the old way - showing television ads. Showing real people using Ask on a tv show, and having the public use Ask in that show's online game is brilliant. Way to go, Ask. Hope you get some increase in share out of this.
Oh, and Happy 4th of July to everyone!