Video: Yellow Pages Falling Down
This morning, I ran across this video on Yahoo! video, submitted by the Bakersfield Californian, which shows thousands of AT&T Yellow Pages books set up like dominoes then tipped off for an underwhelmed audience.
I’m not sure exactly what the point of this was; there are AT&T spokespeople interviewed in the video, suggesting some sort of PR stunt. There are also recycling banners seen in the background, and some mentions of promoting recycling. But then again, it is stated that these are brand new books “right off the line”; and I don’t see the connection between dominoes and recycling.
But the point is, for me there was something symbolic — in light of falling usage — about watching thousands of print books literally collapse on top of each other. There was more symbolism in the fact that a group of teens (Jr. high students) performed the stunt, given that this is an age group driving the use of competitive local media that has had a domino effect on print usage and ad revenue growth.
Add the fact that the whole thing is being shown to us through online video — the newest killer app of an overall internet medium that has been the primary cause of print usage declines (and does the bluegrass music parody the subject as a relic of the past?). But maybe I’m reading too much into it. If nothing else, it’s a somewhat entertaining video clip for a Friday.
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In one way it’s a good thing — for a generation of people that is so Internet/Nintendo/cell phone oriented, how else can you introduce them to the value of print Yellow Pages.
I still challenge folks to compare finding a business in print compared with an online search. Even with broadband access, it is usually quicker in print, given tha the results online are richer.
But my key point is that it really highlights how little this industry has done to promote itself, its products, its capabilities. If that means knocking down some phone books to get awareness, every publisher should try it. It isn’t the silliest thing that other industries have done to get some attention…
Yes. Good point. And it would seem to be a low cost event for publishers.
Nice video, maybe the dominoes are a metaphor for social networking? IYPs could leverage this video and promote their usage as the conscientious, green thing to do.
Oh to have been a sponsor for the front cover of that book – think of all the interactivity!
I think the future of business directories are user generated and social. I believe this will help keep the content fresh and up to date. Jippidy.com is one such user generated small business video yellow pages.
I definitely agree with that one post by George. Unless more IYP’s can transition into using videos, they may have to fold to sites like Jippidy or Yelp in which videos and communities interact on some sort of level. Traditional yellowpages are somewhat bland and if they don’t provide a platform for users to interact with, they’ll go down even faster.