Yellow Pages' JR Hartley Reborn As Dance Club DJ

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Of the various TV ad campaigns that have become planks of popular culture, one of the best known is the 1980s Yellow Pages ad which features actor Norman Lumsden as JR Hartley. For those who can't recall the ad, it's the one where an old chap is hunting for an out-of-print book on fly-fishing. After visiting various bookshops, his daughter suggests he tries Yellow Pages. Sure enough, he finds the book. But not only that, we learn that he is the author.

The power of the execution is in that final pay-off. Not only does this character complete his mission, but it turns out he is on a emotional journey that says something deeper and more profound about the human condition. It's this which makes the ad so engaging (and also made it such good material for satirists seeking to poke fun at the journey).

Given the strength of the campaign, it's no great surprise to see that Yellow Pages have decided to give it a makeover. So this week, JR Hartley returns to our screens after a Doctor Who-like transformation into aging DJ Day V Lately.

In this version of the ad, Day V Lately is trying to find an old dance record. When he finally gets fed up of visiting record shops, his daughter suggests he tries Yell, the digital spin-off of Yellow Pages. Sure enough, he finds the record by using a Yell application on a mobile phone and then reveals to us that he was the DJ who created the track.

The new ad, which breaks this week, was produced by agency Rapier, media planned by PHD and directed by Chris Palmer. Commenting on the execution, David Parslow, Brand and Communications Director at Yell in the UK, said: "What better way to demonstrate how our offering has evolved than to modernise our most iconic advert? The campaign will aim to show that Yell now offers more instant information on businesses in the UK than ever before."

The ad is also supported by a wider integrated marketing campaign, part of which includes 'Ministry of Found' that aims to highlight the new ways Yell is helping consumers do business, with a particular focus on Pop Up Enterprises (PUE). The campaign aims to make shop space accessible to all, not just big brands (go to