Forget DIY. French Yellow Pages Makes a Good Case for Pros in ‘Don’t Do It Yourself’ Ads

Who has time for the ecstasy of failure?

We’re in maker culture now. And in maker culture, where there’s a YouTube video for pretty much any activity you want to take on, you can do almost anything on your own if you put your mind to it. (Like cutting your own bangs, using a YouTube tutorial and some old barber scissors found in some drawer somewhere. But believe us when we say it isn’t great to make rookie mistakes on your own head.)

Still, there’s nothing like calling a pro. And to nail that point to the wall, PagesJaunes—the French Yellow Pages—turned to Sid Lee, which just launched “Don’t Do It Yourself.” This series of tutorials, created with influencers, teaches you how to, well, let yourself be pampered by somebody who knows what they’re doing.

First up to bat, French beauty influencer Sananas demonstrates how not to do your own Hollywood wave, procuring the services of a very nice man named Jerôme, who works at Angel Studio in Paris. Because all she has to do is walk in, say hi and lie across a sink while he makes magic, she has time to read fan mail, catch up with her mom and even take selfies with her dog.

How quaint.

Second, FastGoodCuisine shows you how to leave your wedding cake to the pros. For this, he visits Lyon-based Sur La Bout de la Langue (“On the Tip of the Tongue”) to enlist the services of Guillaume, who curiously has time to make a gorgeous pyramid of choux pastries right then and there.

Meanwhile, our influencer engages in various recreational activities—like Ping-Pong, rock paper scissors and pushups.

Last up, lifestyle influencer JeNeSuisPasJolie (“I’m not pretty”) shows her bevvy of viewers how not to make a super-trendy wall decoration, leaving the work to an artisan named Marc from Sables d’Olonne.

Forget the tarp and rollers; Marc’s got the situation in hand. All you have to do is choose the Pantone, shout some words of encouragement and—while he gets to work painting the walls—you can start painting your nails. (Which is incidentally another thing we’d rather leave to the pros.)

Each ad ends, “It’s always better to call a pro.”

The approach is different from that one time Sid Lee helped PagesJaunes make a Breakbot music video about a sexbot, but the principle is the same: On top of promoting the many professional services found in the Yellow Pages (which now has its own app—far more convenient than a brick-like yellow book), there’s an emphasis on the relational.

Notably, on top of learning what the companies are and where they’re located, we learn the names of the people doing the dirty work. The women kiss, the men shake hands. They address each other informally. These gestures make the engagements feel more communal than like a paid exchange of services, which is part of what PagesJaunes is selling—local expertise from people you’ll probably like meeting anyway.

Of course, there’s plenty to be said for the ecstasy of DIY failure (and success), and for what pleasure can be found in building your own Netflix personal trainer app. But the fact is, you don’t have to do everything on your own. Sometimes it feels just as good to lie back, take a selfie and let an expert take over.

On top of these videos, the #DDIY campaign will ask French users to post pictures of their worst DIY failures. The prize? Money to hire a professional. Naturally.

Brand : Pages Jaunes

General Manager : Christophe Pingard
Deputy General Manager: Julien Ampollini
Brand and Advertising Manager : Gérard Lenepveu
Advertising Manager : Yann Drumare
Head of Communication: Isabelle Druesne