Let me start by making clear that I understand what Yell is trying to do with this series of ads
[which I have seen off- and online] for their website
development business. I also understand [I think] why they have taken this course of action.
Which makes my critique of Yell's ad campaign something of a paradox in that I think it is a good campaign - but at the
same time I think they have got it wrong.
My main problem is that it is simply perpetuates the common misconception about the skill sets required for
developing effective sites. OK, so I accept that 'experts' in online marketing are not usually my age - but I do
bring to the table a wealth of marketing knowledge and experience which - with all due respect - young folk
do not have. That the youngsters in these ads all seem to be IT 'geeks' and not professional marketers does not help.
'Geeks'? - I think that Yell deliberately make them look that way to folk my age - because Yell perceive that business
owners who are the target of this marketing are my age who think that websites are an IT thing and not a marketing
thing. If I'm wrong on this, why are the pictures not a mix of 'geeks' [for the IT stuff] and - how shall I put it -
'smart' youngsters [no, I don't mean suits, just 'business-like']. And what about the occasional older person?
After all, the ad text does talk about a team of developers [which is exactly as it should be] - so where is the
person who brings a bit of marketing experience to the table? Oh, and by the way ... over the years the students
who acheive some of the best marks in both my marketing and e-marketing modules are female - so why do
'boys' out-number the 'girls' in this series of pictures? Could it be that Yell think us older folk perceive
all the best IT 'geeks' to be boys?
This musing was written - I think - circa 2007