Corporate Eye Rebrands as YP with New Ad Campaign

yp-logoIn a press release published by AT&T this week, a rebranding ad campaign was announced that will kick off with a series of ads intended to reposition as the new YP with a message to users — “live locally.”  The press release explains:

The multimillion dollar campaign shines the spotlight on how the YP brand can help users to experience more, do more, and ultimately live more through a better local search experience. Inspirational advertisements across national TV, print, digital and local-market outdoor ads capture the evolved brand personality and position YP as a brand that understands the intent behind a local search. Each ad builds on that theme by sharing a person’s story and real motivation behind their search.

“This major brand campaign reflects how much the YP brand has evolved and how it continues to play a significant role in consumers’ lives,” said Erick Soderstrom, vice-president of AT&T Brand Management and Advertising. “The TV spots kicking off this week emphasize that the YP brand isn’t just an everyday utility, but something that encourages users to spend more time discovering and doing the things they love.”

As BrandWeek reports, “the campaign’s goal, according to 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.  The message is targeted toward consumers ages 18 to 35, who are heavily immersed in the idea of ‘experiences.’ The company calls these local search users ‘digital do-mores,’ or people who are ‘very multifaceted, very mobile and digitally savvy,'” Soderstrom said. is one of the top 40 Web domains in the United States, according to BrandWeek, and the new campaign and local focus will undoubtedly help to keep it there.  Can AT&T successfully build into an emotional brand linked with experiences?  Given AT&T’s reported focus on the mobile consumer audience for the new, it appears they’re on the right track.  However, it seems that a mobile-social element is the puzzle piece that could take this effort to the next level of success.  For example, there is a reason why people like foursquare.

What do you think?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Oh puh-lease. YP? I understand that these days it’s more than just a bit book left on your front steps, but sometimes the legacy name must remain in order to sustain brand value. A similar case is Britain’s Carphone Warehouse, which has it’s name stuck in 1988, although the offerings are thoroughly modern.

This “rebranding” screams of corporate advertising nonsense. If it ain’t broke, don’t abbreviate it.

A two letter logo on a gradient glowing button icon? Web 2.0 ahoy!. The new look breaks my associations of Yellowpages as those ugly phone books I had to use in the 90’s. Now may be the time to let my fingers do the walking again… online. I say its a great move for YP.

Prescott, I couldn’t agree more. We’ve seen the same mistake with Radio Shack rebranding as “The Shack” which sounds hopefully generic at best and, at worst, conjures up associations with the B-52’s.

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