Getting a cynical audience re-engaged

Direct Mail Campaign

Yellow Pages was at one time one of the most profitable businesses of the Telecom Group. A lot of business was still coming through the door through traditional channels, but a good portion had dropped away from one of the traditional mainstays – Advertising Agencies.

The brief was to find a way to re-engage, by creating a new conversation, a way they hadn’t been spoken to before. Advertising people are a tough crowd. Anything you do is first analysed on a surface level; ‘Is this worthy of our attention’, and then whether there is any value (read margin) good enough for them to bother recommending to their client base.

Yellow Pages Group had gone to great pains to re-jig their offer to agencies. They knew they had a compelling argument, ie that a Yellow Pages ad was effective; they had stats to back this all up. All they had to do to agencies was they had a worthwhile proposition.

I created a whole campaign around debunking oxymorons. All centred on the ‘Yellow Pages – an effective advertising means’. The whole campaign was spent positioning old perceptions against new realities. It was a bit of fun, a bit of tongue-in-cheek and a bit of not-taking-ourselves-too-seriously.

We first sent agencies teasers, concrete blocks guising as ‘concrete pads’ or pairs of underpants guising as ‘large briefs’. This was followed up by mailers and then eventually phone calls.

The campaign got great cut-through. It was an immediate conversation starter and did what it was designed to do; to get Yellow Pages sales staff back around the tables in advertising agencies, getting their space back on media schedules.