BPL: The Ultimate Search Engine

BOSTON Though libraries may increasingly become relics in the Google-driven Web 2.0 era, Allen & Gerritsen positions the Boston Public Library system as the ultimate search engine and portrays its librarians as “heroes of information” in a new campaign.

A new campaign by the Watertown, Mass., agency, tagged “What do you want to know?” plays up the resources of the BPL’s 27 branches and focuses on the human element often absent from Internet-based searches.

In fact, the BPL librarians’ ability to locate and share knowledge is at the crux of the campaign.

One execution stars the BPL’s Maurice Gordon, accompanied by the headline, “The fastest way to clear out a bar? Have me show up for trivia night.”

Another ad introduces library staffer Mary Bender, who says, “I’m taking an acting class so I can practice my ‘I don’t know’ face.”

TV, radio and outdoor support are also in the media mix.

Said agency principal Andrew Graff: “While working on the campaign, we put BPL librarians to the test. By guiding us to pinpoint exactly what we were looking for, the librarians delivered results that we would have never found on our own.”

A&G was hired by the BPL in April following a review. Never a big paid-media spender, the account is nonetheless notable owing to its high visibility in the region.