An official recap of the NYC event on YouTube shows a sparse crowd milling uncomfortably about as contestants warble into the microphone and celeb spokesbots feign enthusiasm. The clip has failed to become a viral sensation — as I write this, it’s attracted 63 views.

“Whether your yodel is ’80s punk or country funk, the Yodel Studio is about self-expression, having fun, and allowing all the people who use Yahoo! to be an essential part of our brand-revitalization effort,” says a Yahoo exec. I’m digging the mid-sentence switch in person, from your yodel to our brand — it’s as if they set out to entice me with the artistic freedom of their yodeling opportunity, then got distracted halfway through and began nervously fingering their marketing-bullshit nub.

David Thorpe |

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