Yellow Pages’ Spots Zero In

Martin Creates 13 Ads, Each Intended for a Specific Venue
ATLANTA–Jon Lovitz reprises his role as “the man who wrote the Yellow Pages” in 13 new television spots from The Martin Agency, this time touting the familiar book as an “idea source.”
Ten 15-second spots, the first of which broke last week, place Lovitz in an all-yellow room. He tells stories and makes points that end with references to specific directory headings and the ideas found under those headings.
“Last year, the nation’s top pro golfer made $25 million,” Lovitz says in “Golf.” “The President of the United States, a few hundred thousand. What does that say about America?” The ad ends with the Yellow Pages opened to the “Golf Instruction” heading.
That spot will run exclusively on ESPN and other sports programming. Another ad, “Wigs,” will air during news programs and on all-news networks: “Sorry to interrupt this newscast, but this just in,” Lovitz states authoritatively. “I’m having a great hair day.”
There are ads designed specifically for the SciFi Channel, the Travel Channel, MTV, HGTV and one that will run only in the weeks before April 15.
“The breadth of the spots allows us to get a lot out of each one of them. We’ve made our media buys to allow our commercials to blend with the programming as much as possible,” said Tim Geisert, vice president and account supervisor for the Richmond, Va., agency.
The $21 million campaign also has three bigger budget 30-second ads, geared toward network TV, including an Indiana Jones parody.
Unlike the first campaign, which had a print component, the 2000 effort will focus entirely on television and radio. “Because of Jon, his animated way, he plays much better on broadcast,” Geisert said.
While the 1999 campaign put Lovitz center stage as author of the Yellow Pages, this year’s work downplays the writer angle.
“We don’t want as much focus on Jon as much as we do the product,” said Clint Pollard, executive vice president of marketing for the Denver-based Yellow Pages Publishers Association. “He’s a bit more in the background in this year’s campaign.
. . . Last year was a ‘breakthrough’ campaign . . . [This year] the advertising is built to educate and stimulate.”
The new work continues to use the light bulb graphic instead of the “walking fingers” logo. Each ad is tagged: “Get an idea.”

Publish date: January 24, 2000 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT