YP Signs Havas Media As Agency; Rebuilds Brand Under Alex Kaminsky

Local search, media and advertising company YP has named Havas Media as agency of record for media planning and buying, and event marketing.  

Havas Media, New York will handle strategy, planning and buying for traditional and digital assignments, and the agency's experiential marketing division Ignition, Atlanta will plan and execute events and social media programs. BarrettSF remains YP's creative agency of record.

Alex Kaminsky, VP of brand at YP, came on board earlier this year to reinvent the company's internal team, signing on the agency in June to help build the brand's image. "I'm being selfish," he said. "I only work with aggressive and entrepreneurial people and agencies."

YP didn't have a media-buying group prior to this change, and he wanted to find an agency specializing in media and planning buying, as well as one with analytical tools that could integrate data.

Out-of-home, radio, digital, and other media will make Kaminsky's plan a reality by introducing the brand's personality to consumers. The first step becomes gaining brand awareness. The campaign begins Sept. 9, and will run through the year, starting in New York and San Francisco, followed by Los Angeles and Atlanta. One of the first out-of-home campaigns will tell stories in places like Grand Central Station in Manhattan. The strategy also includes a partnership with CBS properties.



Display, search and pre-roll video ads and other digital media make up about 35% of YP's advertising budget, Kaminsky said. The ads will run in the company's top dozen markets, all supported by Havas. The remaining budget goes toward radio, out-of-home, and events like festivals and sports. "In our key markets, we will probably participate in about 200 events from now through the end of the year," he said.

YP is building an app in Facebook that will invite people to post and share their to-do lists such as "I need to rake leaves this weekend," or "find a wedding gift." Through keywords and geotargeting, the app will connect people and make recommendations on local companies to fulfill those needs. It will link to YP's directory. If it works as well as expected on Facebook, Kaminsky said Twitter and Google+ will likely get one, too.

Kaminsky -- who spent time at Turner, ESPN, Coca-Cola, and weather.com -- will base success on building brand awareness, as well as the number of app downloads. "Building an ecosystem that allows us to communicate with consumers will become important," he said. "The intangible becomes how well we can work with Havas."

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