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Yellow Pages Guerilla Ad Campaign

I was speaking at the Search Engine Strategies (“SES”) Conference in Toronto a couple of weeks ago, and was impressed by the YellowPages.ca booth in the exhibit hall:

YellowPages.ca booth at SES Toronto Conference

YellowPages.ca Search GraphI’ve seen other, equally-large booths for online yellow pages companies, but this one seemed particularly attention-getting and inviting. The glowing yellow desk and the simple design made the thing very friendly-looking, and the geek in me was drawn to the near-real-time search volume graph they had playing up on one screen.

YellowPages.ca appears to continue to be functioning successfully, although it’s also likely getting impacted by the IYP industry rumblings and fears. The Yellow Pages Group parent company has apparently started launching aggressive ad campaigns to promote the use of their legacy printed yellow pages books as well as the YellowPages.ca online directory and their mobile search services. (ad campaign press release)

The ad campaign is using large yellow darts to beat the message in that consumers will be able to find exactly what they’re seeking through using the yellow pages — perhaps as a subtle dig at Google, since Google Maps searches may also include broader keyword-match results that might be unrelated to a user who is strictly seeking business listings.

The Torontoist reports on a part of the yellow dart campaign that is using some cute guerilla marketing tactics — check out the photo of a plumber’s van pierced by a giant dart, parked on a street in Toronto. The YellowPages.ca logo is prominent on the side of the dart, and the dart’s fins read “plumber found”.

I also noticed this interesting YellowPages.ca landscaping ad on an embankment alongside some commuter train tracks in Toronto. These landscaping ads strictly sported company logos as far as I could see and were apparently targeting the eyes of passengers as they passed along in the trains.

YellowPages.ca landscaping ad - closeup
(click to enlarge)

The question remains, however – will massive ad campaigns and clever promotions be sufficient to bolster online yellow pages usage during a time when users appear to perhaps be migrating to the major search engines for business searches?

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