SuperGuarantee – Too Soon for a Eulogy

Category: Media Companies
Brand/Client: SuperGuarantee/SuperMedia
Primary Agency: TM Advertising

STRATEGIC CHALLENGE

In 2007, Bill Gates confidently proclaimed to Microsoft's top advertisers, “The traditional Yellow Pages are doomed.” He prophesized that Yellow Pages usage among people under the age of 50 would drop to zero over five years.

The life – and predicted death – of the Yellow Pages has been a recurring topic among Internet experts, advertising folks and small businesses for years. If one listens to all of the hype, it might appear that death is knocking at the door of the Yellow Pages industry, and it's knocking with iPhone in hand and Bluetooth in ear. Consumers now use a myriad of information sources. Mobile devices in every size, shape and brand deliver search content to users wherever and whenever they want it. Search engines deliver results for everything from finding a job to finding a pet. Internet usage and search trends continue to impact both printed Yellow Pages and Internet Yellow Pages. While Internet usage increased 50% from 2001 to 20081, usage of the printed Yellow Pages dropped 17% in the same time period2. Search giants like Google have captured share of searches performed online. Google now accounts for nearly 72% of all online searches, while Yahoo!, MSN and Ask.com account for 16.36%, 5.5% and 4.07%, respectively3. The remaining 43 search engines, including Internet Yellow Pages like our site, Superpages.com, account for 1.68% of U.S. searches3. American adults perform more than 110.6 Google searches annually4 (an average 2.11 references a week), and that behavior is affecting searches in other ways. Yellow Pages users now reference the Yellow Pages book 1.04 times a week, a drop of 27% since 20002.