A story this week on Adweek.com talks about a new ad campaign from SBC that tries to restore the mystique of printed Yellow Pages while setting SBC Yellow Pages apart from competitors €" referred to only as the €œDifferent Book€ in the new campaign.
We haven€™t seen the ads yet, just the description provided in the Adweek story. But it appears SBC has spared nothing. The spot from GSD&M in Austin, SBCDO€™s longtime agency, follows a fairy tale motif and is directed by Francis Ford Coppola€™s son Roman (no doubt trying to catch up with his sister Sophia). The ad features a voiceover from veteran character actor Roscoe Lee Browne.
Aside from the spot€™s production value, there a few things here worth noting.
First, SBC€™s newest efforts reflect a general trend toward investing more in promotion of the printed Yellow Pages. Publishers worldwide tell us that they are spending more these days, in most cases as a direct response to competition.
SBC€™s decision to call out the €œDifferent Book€ also reminds us of the tactic used by Yellow Book (not the €œOther Book€) of using broad humor and images to convey the sense that there is only one option available that can be relied upon to provide complete, accurate and relevant information. In the spot, for example, a dog owner using the €œDifferent Book€ mistakenly arrives at a veterinarian that caters exclusively to cats.
And some comments from the people behind the campaign, as quoted in Adweek, are also revealing. Jonathan Silverstein, an account director, said the ads were trying to bring back a sense that the Yellow Pages is a €œmagic book.€
He says: €œThey were great at one time €" you got everything. But almost like a fable, something bad happened. Something needed to be corrected.€
Silverstein also acknowledges that the success of SBC€™s competitors was top of mind as the spots were created. €œThey needed to make a statement, remind people that there is a choice and a quality difference.€