If you’ve seen the latest White Pages Piano Man TV ad, you may understand why we’ve got some issues with it. Watch the ad here, or not.
1) The Barry Manilow/Elton John persona really has not much currency today.
2) The art director seems to have gone AWOL during production because there seems to be some sort of grotesque appeal working through the ad, from the sets, the cast and even the jingle, everything’s consistently ugly. There’s definitely something very bridal or bridezilla about it, maybe it’s got to do with all the white.
3) The whole concept just doesn’t compel someone to go online and use White Pages, because there’s very little in the ad that relates to the act or need of people searching for businesses online with White Pages. For one, they’re not likely to be singing.
We get that the ad’s trying to achieve better recall in the minds of the audience by being entertaining, but it doesn’t achieve that because it’s just not very memorable. All white and very bland.
So how do we propose for them to better spend their marketing dollars? If anything is possible, we’ve come up with an alternative and an eco-friendly one at that.
1) Dig out all the leftover printed copies of White Pages that they still have.
2) Use them as bricks to build various pop up White Pages Search Centres in the capital cities, sort of like the way James May (of Top Gear) used Lego bricks to build a house.
3) Install computer booths in them for passers-by to search for businesses and directions on White Pages, sort of like tourism information booths branded by White Pages.
4) Run all sorts of promos at the pop up centre locations to get people to do a practical and really find businesses using White Pages online.
5) And send out press releases to the media to get free coverage about the pop up centres, run ads that showcase the centres or let it run viral on YouTube.
If the above doesn’t beat the Piano Man TV ad, at least they would have put the old printed copies of White Pages to good use, instead of having them lying around at home or in the office and serving as a reminder of how obsolete the printed copy has become.