AT&T Touts Human Side of Online Search

AT&T is breaking a new ad campaign that focuses on the rebranding of YP.com, formerly known as Yellowpages.com.

YP.com is the telecom giant’s local search site, which got a makeover in August. New ads for the site, via Butler, Shine, Stern and Partners, San Francisco, build on the brand’s new tagline: “Click Less, Live More.” Television, print, outdoor and digital ads all center on the personal experiences driving online searches. It’s the brand’s most significant campaign since 2006.
 
One spot opens with a boy driving to an automobile yard to presumably look for parts. As the ad progresses, however, it’s revealed that he’s not searching for spare parts, but rather, for a memory from his childhood. There are three more spots in the running, including one that shows a father and his son attending a baseball game; they’ll air on sports and national cable programming.
 
The campaign’s goal, said Erick Soderstrom, vp of brand management and advertising at AT&T, is to move beyond the basic, or “functional” side of local searching and into the “emotional” side, he said. For instance, a mother searching for a pharmacy on YP.com wants to buy more than just cough medicine—she is really looking to take care of her sick child.
 
YP.com, which is part of the AT&T Interactive unit, is accessible on mobile devices. Ads, accordingly, contain a plug for its mobile app, dubbed YPmobile.

AT&T is running local, outdoor ads in ten regional markets. Print ads, meanwhile, launch in upcoming issues of People, InStyle and Rolling Stone. MEC handles media planning and buying.
 
The message is targeted toward consumers ages 18 to 35, who are heavily immersed in the idea of “experiences,” Soderstrom said. The company calls these local search users “digital do-mores,” or people who are “very multifaceted, very mobile and digitally savvy,” he said.
 
Local search, in recent years, has evolved to mean “less about what you are trying to find as opposed to what are the resources you are looking for,” Soderstrom said. According to comScore data supplied by AT&T, YP.com is currently among the top 40 Web domains in the U.S. The site also boasts more than 30 million monthly unique visitors.