Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

“Reality TV” Is Now In Yellow Pages Billboard – Live

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

This is so inverted or reflexive or something that it’s making my mind implode when trying to describe it! The people from “Reality TV” shows (which everyone knows isn’t real at all) Big Brother and Survivor have been placed inside a giant Yellow Pages billboard (which thus is now not really a billboard anymore) and are being pitted against one another. They’ll apparently be assigned tasks to complete via Yellow Pages interfaces on smartphones, YP websites, Facebook pages, Twitter, etc. (Reported on The Ads of the World)

Yellow Pages Reality TV Billboard in Israel

Yellow Pages Reality TV Billboard in Israel

So, let me try to boil this down to the basic concept if I can: this Yellow Pages company — you know, one of those companies working hard to prove they are still relevant in the modern world — therefore, a company trying to survive – is trying to do so by taking “reality” TV stars from shows which involve survival competition games – and having them play their survival-style games inside a billboard — games which apparently will involve challenging them to try to figure out how to use the Yellow Pages products to complete their tasks — all this to prove to real people in the really-real world that YP/IYP products are not only cool, but still useful to use and worthwhile to advertise in. Whew!

This smacks somehow of irony, although I can’t parse if that’s the technically correct term to use in this case. (more…)

Corn Maze Memorializes Deadliest Catch Captain Harris

Monday, September 20th, 2010
Captain Phil Harris - Rutledge Corn Maze

Captain Phil Harris in the Rutledge Corn Maze

The cool “mapvertising” concept of a corn maze is now being applied to memorializing the Deadliest Catch Captain Phil Harris, who died earlier this year. The Rutledge Corn Maze in Tumwater, Washington, has declared that their theme this year will Captain Harris, and the aerial photos show that the maze has been shaped as a sort of portrait of him, and includes the name of his crab boat, the “Cornelia Marie”.

I’ve written previously about cornfield mazes and how some companies are using them for advertising. While it’s not unusual for companies to also memorialize people, I think this is probably the first time a corn field maze has simultaneously been a memorial remembrance. (more…)

Yellowbook’s Weforia: Could Group Deals Be Yellow Pages’ Game-Changer?

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Yellowbook has just this week announced the launch of Weforia, a group-buying/discount-deals service similar to Groupon. Like “Groupon”, the Weforia name is another “portmanteau word“, combining “we + euphoria”. The website for the new service sports a cheering crowd, evoking a music concert with the fans breathlessly waiting for the rock star to come out on stage:

Weforia - Yellowbook's new group-buying discounts and deals service

The excitement of the rock concert certainly illustrates euphoria, and is probably channeling the hopes and feelings of the YP industry even more than reflecting what the new product will do. But, you can forgive Yellowbook for wanting to celebrate with a victory dance prior to having their eggs all hatch, because this is unquestionably a very strong concept that has a great chance of working exactly as they hope, and they were first out of the gates in the U.S. to integrate this type of service (Yellow Pages Group in Canada announced their service, RedFlagDeals.com, just a few days before). Read on and I’ll explain. (more…)

How Has Groupon Grown So Fast?

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Groupon, a portmanteau word which apparently was made from smashing together “group” with “coupon”, is the brandname of a local deals and discounts service which has been growing by huge leaps and bounds. Social Media meets Coupons, if you will. At this week’s DFW SEM meet on “Location, Location, Location – all about local search“, one attendee asked us during the Q&A how has Groupon grown so fast?

I think the answer is pretty straightforward. Groupon has done some brilliant advertising in Facebook. Here’s an example:

Groupon Ads in Facebook

 

Groupon Advertisement

Notice that the ad mentions the city I have associated with my Facebook profile — Dallas. The promise of the offers mentioned are highly compelling — “Half Off Dallas”, and “…up to 90% off each day”. These offers are really attractive and hard to ignore.

But, it’s the second part of Groupon’s one-two punch that really seals the deal for their rapid growth. (more…)

New Law Makes Florists Happy, But Has Wider Implications For Yellow Pages & Search Engine Ads

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

A story in the Rochester, Minnesota Post-Bulletin describes a new state law that florists apparently campaigned-for which bans non-local companies from advertising local business services (in “New law removes thorn from side of local florists“). The story reports that this new law prohibits “deceptive” advertising by companies that misrepresent their location by using a false address and “local” phone number, and it would bar “any business from advertising on the Internet or in the Yellow Pages unless they also list a physical address.”

Florists in the Yellow Pages

I’ve heard florists complain about the wire services companies for many years over this very same issue. Companies such as FTD, Teleflora, Proflowers and 1-800-Flowers have long provided florists with broker services — they market themselves through many channels, both local and nationwide.

My family actually used to own a wholesale floristry service in West Texas, so I have some degree of direct understanding of how these florists feel. Many yellow pages companies, both online and print, have allowed these large, influential florist services to advertise with seemingly-local area listings. Consumers grabbing a yellow pages book or searching online for floral shops rarely can discern between the independent local florists and the ads of the brokers. Once the consumer orders flowers from the broker, they end up paying various service charges — the broker subtracts their cut and sends the order on to a local flower shop to fulfill, based upon standardized catalogs of products. Florists have long gnashed their teeth that consumers pay extra for less product, needlessly passing on money to these referral services.

I’ll confess: I’ve been a floristry industry insider, and I’ve ordered flowers both ways. I can tell the difference between good-quality flowers and bad ones, too.

You might think I’d side with the independent florists on this issue, but I don’t think it’s that cut-and-dried. (more…)