In 1964, ad agency Cunningham & Walsh created “Let Your Fingers Do The Walking” -- arguably one of the most indelible campaigns ever -- to help client AT&T market its Yellow Pages to consumers. Fifty years later, DataXu is flipping the idea for its descendant YP.com, effectively enabling consumers’ cookies to do the targeting in order to help them shop the YP way. Or more precisely, to help national marketers target consumers in real-time based on what they are using their fingers to click on when searching for local products and services via YP.com.
The technique, which has been in place for YP’s local advertisers for years, is being made available to national brands via a new “proprietary real-time decision engine” DataXu developed for YP that effectively allows advertisers to re-target people who start their consumer journey on YP.com by serving ads to them on subsequent publishers’ pages, regardless of whether they are on a conventional Web page, a social network or a mobile destination. While this kind of re-targeting is far from new, it has never been scalable as a national audience “reach extender” for YP’s advertisers before.YP calls the new platform “re-targeting for online display" (ROD), and while that may not be Cunningham & Walsh-level positioning, we’re talking 2014 here, not 1964, so they’re just going to let their servers do most of the talking in order to let brands do their shopping the YP way.