Go Digital – Go Yell



Yell (formerly the Yellow Pages) have extended their offering to small and medium sized businesses to include digital marketing services, including website design and build, PPC advertising campaigns and display advertising. Despite having a very famous brand, there is extremely low awareness in the UK market that they have moved into this area and they needed an agency to create a campaign that would raise awareness and generate sales leads.


This case describes how brand storytelling helped reposition one of the UK’s most loved brands and created unprecedented levels of favourable opinion at a fragile moment in its history. The announcement that the Yellow Pages, a British institution for over 50 years, was going into its final print run could have easily become a story of the company’s demise.


The communications idea, ‘What we do hasn’t changed, just the way we do it’, drew upon the heritage of the Yellow Pages by bringing to life the Yell logo as an animated ‘helping hand‘ character called Hartley, paying homage to JR Hartley who featured in the original Yellow Pages TV ads. It helped to reposition Yell as a relevant business in the digital age, and reminded the British public that their core brand purpose of ‘helping local businesses connect with customers’, hasn’t changed.


The campaign generated a staggering Advertising Value Equivalency of £10.5 million, of which 81% of coverage was very positive, 11% positive and 8% neutral.

Results in numbers:

  • AVE of £10.5 million
  • 81% very positive and 11% positive coverage
  • 610 broadcast mentions on TV and radio
  • 368 articles in national, regional and SMB media
  • 100% increase in sales within the first week

million AVE