AT&T: Let Your Fingers Do The Walking campaign

Chris John Amorosino



Overview

In 1962, for the first coordinated nationwide Yellow Pages advertising campaign, AT&T turned to its advertising agency of nearly 30 years, Cunningham & Walsh, to create a fresh, memorable idea. On January 19, 1962, the "Let Your Fingers Do the Walking" campaign debuted on national television in a one-minute commercial on the Bell Telephone Hour. Regional and local campaigns followed closely. AT&T gave the campaign much of the credit for increasing Yellow Pages revenue to an all-time high in 1963. The campaign's slogan became one of the most recognized lines in advertising and held its strong consumer recall for many years after the 1984 breakup of AT&T ended the national campaign.

The earliest television spot, in black and white and running 60 seconds, opened with an overhead shot of people walking city streets. A woman's voice said, "Walking. Shopping. Walking. Looking. Walking. Thinking." until a policeman pushed his hand in front of the viewer. "Stop," said a man's voice. "Let your fingers do the walking. Shop the Yellow Pages way." Next, the slogan was repeated in jingle form: "Let your fingers do the walking in the Yellow Pages. / Read the ads. / Learn the facts. / Find it fast." Video showed a woman's fingers walking across the Yellow Pages, followed by close-ups of Yellow Pages ads and then images of jewelry, sportswear, furniture, glassware, photo supplies, and other products that could be found at the businesses listed. The television spot explained that the Yellow Pages contained helpful information on brand names, product features, new services, store locations, and hours. The audience then heard the slogan sung or spoken five more times.