August 23, 2010

AT&T Tries to Leverage Yellow Pages, Popularity of 'Eat, Pray, Love'

Remember the Yellow Pages? Everybody used to use them. But for most of us, the idea of using a physical phone book to search for a business listing seems so outdated that we either pitch the phone book when it arrives on our doorstep, or use it for a doorstop. However, AT&T (News - Alert) clearly sees some value in the brand, as it is leveraging the Yellow Pages for an online effort  – but it’s using a groovy abbreviated name and a tag (News - Alert) line that seems to draw both on the hip trend of buying locally, and on the popular movie Eat, Pray, Love.

The effort – which appears to be AT&T’s move to get more ownership of users’ online experiences in an age in which Google (News - Alert) and Bing loom large – is called

"We want to give today's user more access to content that allows them to explore and stay locally connected," says David Krantz, president and CEO at AT&T Interactive. "Our new YP brand represents a local search experience that consumers rely on to navigate their daily lives – whether it be by online, mobile or TV. Changing the front door to, which has evolved from our well-known YELLOWPAGES.COM brand, puts a face to our core product and brand mission and signifies our continued evolution as a company."

AT&T adds that the “vibrant, image-based” interface “encourages users to eat, play and live – locally.” It’s apparently broken up into three areas, which AT&T describes as such:

EAT – One-click access to local restaurants and dining categories. Once on the results page, look for the "Reserve Table" button to book reservations at select restaurants via

PLAY – Check local event listings or movie times (and even buy tickets for select theatres). Planning a getaway? Search for hotels, check rates, room availability and book a room with the hotel finder.

LIVE – Search for a new or used car, find that perfect florist, or browse YP's extensive list of service business listings that help users in their daily lives.

While this branding is eerily reminiscent of the Julia Roberts movie Eat, Pray, Love, which is in theaters now and is based on a best-selling book of the same name, there is no official link between that film and the AT&T product.

Edited by Erin Harrison