OK, I confess. I watched “30 Rock” last Thursday.
About midway through the program, I caught a 30-second spot for ServiceMagic. This was the first network TV spot I’ve seen for ServiceMagic (although once I started looking around online, I found other TV spots it has run). This particular spot is known as the “tale of two Louies” — two home contractors with identical ads in print and online Yellow Pages.
It was interesting that ServiceMagic positioned itself directly against the print Yellow Pages. The rest of the messaging hierarchy (or the value proposition for consumers) was presented as:
• We instantly match you with contractors who “passed our thorough background check.”
• We list contractors “rated by your neighbors.”
• We’re “free to use.”
• We’re “the easiest way to get competing bids from top local contractors.”
All of these messages (with the exception of “free to use”) emphasized functions and capabilities inherently difficult or impossible to perform in print media.
My view is that the head-on positioning vis-à-vis Yellow Pages represents a self-confidence, even aggressiveness, engendered by ServiceMagic’s rapid growth (not to mention IAC’s deep pockets). The messaging about “ratings by your neighbors” is an indicator of how user-generated content is being leveraged in mainstream contexts.
ServiceMagic CEO Craig Smith is a featured speaker at The Kelsey Group’s Directional Media Strategies event, which is Sept. 22-24 in Orlando.