The Walking Fingers brand wants to stroll into the future, and it has now revealed how it plans to do that: more Yellow, less Pages.
In an attempt to show it's not all about old-fashioned print directories, Yellow Media Inc. yesterday announced it is rebranding its Yellow Pages businesses. The familiar logo has kept the fingers, but they are no longer walking across an open book.
"We're so much more than that now," said Yellow Media chief executive officer Marc Tellier. "The beauty of the fingers is they're very much relevant whether they're on a mobile device, a Web search, or a print directory."
In an effort to rejuvenate the brand and appeal to a younger generation, the company has also chosen a new shade of yellow; the old golden hue has taken on a more radioactive, fluorescent tinge that Mr. Tellier describes as "crisper, lighter, purer … more yellow."
The re-branding is accompanied by an advertising campaign that will launch online and on television next week. The campaign uses humour to try to appeal to a younger audience, many of whom use the Yellow Pages most often as something thick to rip in half in online displays of strength.
Mr. Tellier said he wants to show that demographic the company has a digital presence too, by following the sleeker logo styles of forward-looking companies such as Apple Inc. and Facebook Inc. The new logo takes the fingers out of their old boxy design and placed them on a pebble shape.
"It's a lot more fluid, a lot more modernized ... It's about recognizing where a lot of the future growth is going to come from," he said.
Mr. Tellier will need to convince investors of that growth: while the company is changing its brand, it has also changed its name - from Yellow Pages Income Fund to Yellow Media - in preparation for its change from an income fund to a traditional corporate structure, which will take place late this year.
But for all the talk of a digital future, and even though the Yellow Pages BlackBerry and iPhone apps are popular with users, the online side of the business still counts for less than one-fifth of the company's revenues. Conservatively, management has given guidance that it should hit that 20-per-cent mark by the end of this year. But Mr. Tellier said he expects the digital business to grow more than that, estimating it should be at roughly 24 per cent of the Yellow Pages business by 2011.
The digital tipping point is still a speck on the horizon: Mr. Tellier said it will be at least five years before online and mobile revenues make as much money for the company as the old-fashioned print directories.