Yellow Pages flexes its mobile muscles

A new online component of a rebranding campaign launched this week, extending the popularity of TV ads and asking consumers to interact with characters.

Yellow Pages is no longer just a giant phonebook that also serves as a footstool – a rebranding campaign wants to show consumers that their fingers can still do the walking with the company’s new mobile and web directory services.

Online big box and leaderboard ad units launched this week on the Yahoo and Olive networks direct consumers to a microsite where they can paste their photo on an oiled up muscle-man, or photo crash the web with Luke – two characters from their TV ad campaign currently in market across conventional and specialty channels. The campaign, developed by Taxi with media handled by PHD, runs through to May 24.

‘The concept was to extend the creative from our TV spots through an entertaining and engaging online tactic to change perceptions about the brand,’ says Perry Schwartz, senior manager, communications, Yellow Pages Group.

The new branding is meant to reflect the changes that have been happening at the company, such as the launch of new mobile applications for all major smartphones, restaurant reviews and profiles, coupons, and a new commitment to connect advertisers with consumers across those platforms, Schwartz explains.

One of those mobile products is the ‘Urbanizer,’ an application launched this week that allows users to choose from a selection of predefined moods such as ‘romantic dinner’ and ‘hipster snack’ that the app then matches to restaurants that would best accommodate them. Users can then add selections to a favourites feature and share them with friends. The app is still in beta form, and Yellow Pages is considering how advertisers can be incorporated. For now, it remains a widget that can add to the consumer’s social media experience.

‘Our hope is that people will enjoy the experience and share it, creating a viral outcome,’ says Schwartz, of the mobile apps and new online campaign.