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.
A blended PR and advertising strategy, which used digital video to tell the story of the brand’s transformation, generated an Advertising Value Equivalency of £10.5 million, of which 81% of coverage was very positive, 11% positive and 8% neutral.
“The brand strategy implemented by True could not have had a bigger impact in terms of shifting perceptions and positioning Yell as a truly digital business. We did not envisage receiving the level of response we did from the campaign, and it has given us a strong platform from which we can grow our digital operation.”
– Dave Lynch, Head of Marketing Communications