YellowPages.com Breaks Big Online Effort

YellowPages.com, the joint venture between AT&T and Bell South, has kicked off a TV and online ad campaign that introduces the tagline “We wrote the book on local search.”

The campaign hopes to appeal to an audience that’s increasingly seeking information online, while also playing up its heritage as a child of the telco companies. GSD&M, the company’s agency of record, created both the television and online components. YellowPages.com described it as a “multi-million dollar” campaign, but declined to get more specific about spending levels. The effort will run throughout 2006.

Both television and online executions in the “Need something?” campaign begin with close-ups of people performing seemingly everyday tasks, but when the shot widens the viewer sees something unusual. In one Flash ad, for example, a man appears to be mowing his lawn, but then it’s revealed he’s using a vacuum cleaner. Text then reads, “Need something?” and the YellowPages.com search box is presented as the solution. The ad finishes with the tagline “We wrote the book on local search.”

“They all have a very similar set-up and reveal with situations that aren’t quite right,” said Mary Jane Thornburg, director of marketing and communications at YellowPages.com.

Thornburg said the campaign is breaking with eight different TV executions and three different online ads, though nine other online versions are in development. Ads will appear on information-oriented sites like CNN.com, MSN, WeatherChannel.com, MSNBC and USAToday.com. The company plans roadblocks on sections of America Online in the coming weeks and will do takeovers on other sites, though Thornburg said details were still being ironed out.

The company has chosen to make buys on national sites, but in areas that feature local content, in an effort to attract those looking for local information.

“The strategy overall with television and the online buy is national, but we are looking at local aspects,” said Thornburg. “Sponsorship of local weather helps us get that localized approach.”

On television, YellowPages.com will be integrated into programming, Thornburg said, but didn’t offer details. “We’ve got quite a few additions to the media buy instead of just advertising, which really extends our exposure,” she said.

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