It’s not your parents’ YellowPages anymore

21 Oct

Few media are embracing the shift in consumer behaviour more astutely than YellowPages.

They’ve had to, with social media word-of-mouth, location-based platforms, and consumer review sites like Yelp delivering swift and repeated kicks to their hindquarters.

I think they’ve responded well. Their new website is finally customer focused, therefore immediately accessible and easy to navigate. But click on the Mobile Apps button and you end up in the real sweet spot. YellowPages offer their range of apps for free in this tasty little page set-up that makes you WANT to download them. (They might have made the Apps button on their landing page a bit more noticeable, but I quibble.)

And they’ve gotten innovative. Their Urbanizer is a cool interactive application that recommends places in your city based on your mood. So if you’re feeling grouchy or depressed, it will send you off to a gloomy basement restaurant.

This app has a City Mood feature which allows you to look at nighttime aerials of Canada’s major cities and see restaurants in colour-coded dots according to the mood they most closely jive with. No Victoria in there yet, but lack of cities was a consistent gripe in customer reviews.

The Urbanizer got lukewarm reviews on its webpage, but I liked that the neg reviews were there at all. Somebody at YellowPages is getting social media.

It’s once again cool to let your fingers do the walking.


64 Responses to “It’s not your parents’ YellowPages anymore”

  1. Jack Steinmann October 21, 2010 at 8:51 am #

    That reminds me of the UrbanDaddy app, which will filters its recommendations for you based on a number of factors, including city, day of the week, time of the day, “What do you want?” (e.g. “Dancing,” or “I’m game for anything”) and “Who are you with?” (e.g. “Parents,” “Friends,” “Mistress”).

  2. dougbrowncreative October 21, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    Did you ever make use of it? I can see people going for that Urbanizer…but like any app it has to offer something useful after the thrill is gone. Thanks for the comment Jack.

  3. Jody Beck October 21, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Downloaded the app on your recommendation Doug. Very easy to download and more remarkably, quite useful. Thanks. Good on Yellow Pages for adapting instead going the way of the dinosaur.

  4. dougbrowncreative October 21, 2010 at 10:36 am #

    Hey nice one Jody. Have you played around with the Urbanizer yet? I like apps that are fun and functional. That makes them more likely to be shared.

  5. Mike October 22, 2010 at 11:07 am #

    I like the canpages app better. It does the same thing but seems to work better.

  6. dougbrowncreative October 22, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Thanks for the info about the Canpages app Mike. I’ve downloaded it as well. What do you like better about it? (Other than the fact it was easier to download..)

  7. runtobefit October 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    I worked for the Yellow Pages and it was crazy how much it changed in the more than two years I was there. The print directories were dying and then came the shift toward the Internet. Now it is going towards apps….crazy!!!

  8. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    This is not isolated change. It is happening in virtually every industry at lightening speed. I congratulate the Yellow Pages not only for making the leap, but doing it so well. Props to their ad agency Taxi.

  9. lifeintheboomerlane October 28, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Good news. So my question is, when are they going to stop delivering those 1000 lb books to my door? Does anyone actually use those anymore?

  10. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

    Soon as our parents are consulting their iPhones to order pizza I guess. It’s not a wholesale overthrow…just a first step in an inevitable direction.

    On the other hand, I tried sitting my daughter on my smartphone to boost her up at the dinner table…

  11. Steve October 28, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    Real artificial intelligence? Who’d a thunk it.

  12. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Didn’t they once try to call the Yellow Pages the Smart Pages? Hey cool website you’ve got by the way. A Restricted area for diatribes too. Liked it.

  13. Amy October 28, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    They FP’ed this post today!

  14. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    They sure did. I don’t think we’ll have the rollercoaster ride that you did Amy. Perhaps more of a Merry-go-round. Or a pony ride.

  15. perfectperfectionist October 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm #

    Amazing how things are changing in the digital era. Great post.

  16. Scott October 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm #

    Pretty nifty, if you ask me. Cool beans. Thanks for posting 🙂

  17. Sunflowerdiva October 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Hmmm, it’s so fascinating to see how technology is evolving. And really rapidly, too. It’s a bit unnerving, actually.

  18. denis October 28, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    moi,j’utilise l’application des pages jaunes et tu trouves tout

  19. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    > Thank you Perfectionist. It’s especially cool to see how such an old world dinosaur updates itself to the times.

    > I appreciate the comment Scott. Download the app if you can, it is pretty neat.

    > Sunflowerdiva, it does unnerve a lot of people. I heard someone say today : “I haven’t quite got the hang of this new technology yet”, which for me is a great attitude. It’s ok not to get it all, just be learning, continually learning. It’s good for the brain. Doctors say so!

    > Merci beaucoup Denis. C’est mieux que le livre et plus fun.

  20. allovernews October 28, 2010 at 7:47 pm # please go read and comment
    thank you

  21. dougbrowncreative October 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    > Allovernews, rather than simply using our blog as a way of driving traffic to your own blog, please contribute to the conversation here. Thank you.

  22. YellowPages anymore October 28, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Who uses the YellowPages anymore?). Now we’re onto bigger and better …

  23. vjosewin October 28, 2010 at 11:41 pm #

    hey as the saying goes old is gold it has to come back

  24. YellowPages anymore October 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm #


  25. Sixthirtythree October 29, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    Oh, wow, COOL!

  26. games for gils y3 October 29, 2010 at 1:49 am #

    Amazing how things are changing in the digital era. Great post.

  27. Summer October 29, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    wow!! thats such a cool idea!!

  28. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 4:15 am #

    TO ALL OUR READERS: Since this post was Freshly Pressed by WordPress, there have been many spam and self-promoting comments left in this section. I have tried to remove the obvious ones. If I removed yours and it was legit, apologies.

    To vjosewin, Sixthirtythree and Summer – thanks for your comments.

  29. Oscar Belmont October 29, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    It means certain customization is advancing even further on mobile phones. The evolution in the mobile industry looks the most rapid than any other industry. Where do you think it’s going to be next? At any moment unthinkable elements are added one after the other. I’m using a 2 years old Nokia phone and I feel it is already like a fossil.

  30. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 5:14 am #

    It’s good news for smartphone manufacturers isn’t it Oscar, because everything is headed there. You can travel now with just an iPhone. No guide books, no laptop, no camera, no video cam, no maps, no GPS, no language books. Just that thing. Bummer if it gets stolen though…

  31. yoruanko October 29, 2010 at 5:42 am #

    if iphone get stolen… it really a headache in the ass. It really expensive though.Gotta keep my eyes on my iphone

  32. Jamari Fox October 29, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Things are so easier now!

  33. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    > Yoruanko, we all know that headaches in the ass are a pain in the butt. Good luck hanging onto that iPhone!

  34. Mike Raven October 29, 2010 at 9:24 am #

    Building on some of the other replies here, where are the really smart pages, though? I don’t need listings based on mood; I need listings based on, well, what I NEED. I’m still waiting for an app that truly helps me understand a best-fit based on material requirements and the business’ ability to fulfill those requirements. I can go to Google today and get reviews but are those a self-selecting sample of malcontents, the cloaked voices of the businesses themselves hacking away at the ratings system, or people who are genuinely qualified to evaluate the merits of a given set of services?

    I’m sorry — away with the bells and whistles! I want to see value!

    – Mike Raven

  35. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 10:35 am #

    Thanks for the comment Mike. There seem to be plenty of platforms that give customers a chance to evaluate the merits of a business, Yelp, BooRah and Kudzu being a few. I’m no shill for the YellowPages but I like the direction they’re moving in. I’m sure they would find your point of view quite useful. Why don’t you connect with them in Social Media ( and let them know your thoughts?

  36. Ava Aston's Muckery October 29, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I wonder if in an attempt to get people to use this new technology the Yellow Page companies will be throwing millions of cell phones loaded with this app on people’s doorsteps, instead of phone books? We all can hope can’t we?



  37. Anton October 29, 2010 at 10:44 am #

    Does anyone still use the YellowPages?

  38. pixelshiftr October 29, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Awesome!! Way to go Yellowpages, I’m all for Apps, but considering all the talk of phone books becoming obsolete, Yellowpages has taken this serious and has decided to move with the curve. The iPhone App is great and use it regularly.

  39. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 11:03 am #

    > Well Ava, we’ve already discovered in my house that cell phones are crap for boosting your kid up in her chair.

    > Anton, there’s a huge 50+ population who continue to turn to their old book. Not sure that this new digital direction will pull them along, but it sure breathes new life into the old yeller.

    > Thanks for the feedback on the App pixelshifter. It’s great that YellowPages has taken the necessary consumer perceptual shift as seriously as product innovation. They did seem dead in the water last year.

  40. Cliff October 29, 2010 at 12:14 pm #

    Great post!

  41. Stop Being a Loser October 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm #

    I had no idea about their apps. I sort of wrote them off because we still get actual phone books on our doorstep. Glad to see they are making progress!


  42. sayitinasong October 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    I love the urbanizer! Never had any problems using it!

  43. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

    > Stop Being a Loser, what a cool blog you have. I could heed some of your advice. Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. Try that app out!

    > sayitinasong, are you in Canada or is the app now available in the US? I enjoyed your Bowie blog post by the way. Station to Station is my fave Bowie album.

  44. ryoko861 October 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    Lifeintheboomerlane hit the perverbial nail on the head-when does the multitude of phone books stop coming??? And it’s a PITA to try to get rid of the old one!

    This is a god send!

  45. dougbrowncreative October 29, 2010 at 10:03 pm #

    Poco a poco, as they say in Spanish, ryoko861. This is a period of transition for YellowPages which they are handling well. No doubt their carbon footprint is going to improve drastically as the new positioning takes hold, and the book is phased out. Could take a while though, and they’re not saying how long.

  46. captainkohler October 29, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Changing in this day and age is a necessity to stay in business. I am actually surprised the yellow pages are still around as a business. It says a lot about them.

  47. nevo hadas October 29, 2010 at 11:36 pm #

    it’s such a difficult position YP is in. the service they provide is growing like crazy (search and listings) yet their perspective on it has limited their value and relevance. the old value of YP was that everybody that mattered was available in their book…. now we just use search and get more responses.

    teh technology shift has really caught them out, i hope they find a gap!

  48. dougbrowncreative October 30, 2010 at 5:17 am #

    > They have enormous brand recognition captainkohler, they just needed to update it. I think they’ve taken a big step in the right direction. Thanks for your comment.

    > Even more to that good point Nevo Hadas, YellowPages listings don’t yet benefit from consumer reviews. When then really change their model into something more Yelp-like, they will be hard to touch…especially considering their brand recognition. Any bets on how long before they do it? Great comment by the way.

  49. nannymcp22 October 30, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    hmmm interesting. most of the time i only use my phone for calling, texting and looking at the time. lol i think i have to look at other uses.

  50. allovernews October 30, 2010 at 8:08 am #

    Just had a look at the app you are talking about. Kool. But my city is listed.

  51. dougbrowncreative October 30, 2010 at 2:32 pm #

    Nanny, consider all the uses of a smartphone. These little guys have come a long way in a few years. They’re really mini-computers, with a phone, digital camera, GPS and iPod built right in. Hope you get some new uses out of it!

  52. Saif Aslam October 30, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Very Good Post. I have a whole blog just about Apple inc. Check it out:

  53. sangmane October 30, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

    this is great … simple and easy to understand …

  54. ahmedelherbawi October 30, 2010 at 7:42 pm #

    Very Good

  55. dougbrowncreative October 30, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    Amazing. The last two comments were from Toraya in Indonesia and Gaza in Palestine respectively. Thanks to both Sangmane (terima kasih) and Ahmed for stopping by and leaving your comments.

  56. nevo hadas October 31, 2010 at 5:58 am #

    i wonder about the growth of directories in general. the one things YP lacks as a generalist is the depth and relevance that a specialist directory has i.e. hotels need amenities and restaurants menus etc…

  57. dougbrowncreative October 31, 2010 at 6:13 am #

    Hmm, interesting point Nevo Hadas. The old YellowPages was limited by physical space and a lack of competition. This evolution into more of an online offering strips those two away and frees them up to look at their offering in a new way. Maybe they will go deeper within their listings…

  58. October 31, 2010 at 12:39 pm #

    Let your fingers do the walking!

  59. elnuno November 1, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    this is amazing

  60. andrewcl November 2, 2010 at 12:42 pm #

    Nice post. Thanx for sharing.

  61. how to get rid of cold sore November 23, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    This is really interesting. Thanks for posting it. By the looks of the comments, many others think so too.


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