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Epiphany Search

Bleary eyed last Sunday morning toying over whether to read the Sunday Times or the News of the World, my ears pricked up hearing a familiar line on tele.. ‘The name? Oh of course, it's Day V Lately.’ This immediately brought back  memories of one of my favourite childhood adverts: the eponymous ‘J R Hartley’ Yellow Pages ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv1VQ7uSC-s An elderly chap wandering around bookstores in search of <em>Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley</em>. “It’s rather old,” he tells a shop keeper, as his search keeps drawing blanks. Upon arriving home disappointed, his daughter suggests he try looking in the Yellow Pages. After ringing up a shop and finding a copy of the illusive book, he asks if he can reserve it giving his name as ‘J R Hartley,’ revealing he was looking for his own book. The joy on his face at finding his book left viewers with a warm fuzzy feeling and the advert went down in folklore.

Bleary eyed last Sunday morning toying over whether to read the Sunday Times or the News of the World, my ears pricked up hearing a familiar line on tele.. ‘The name? Oh of course, it's Day V Lately.’ This immediately brought back  memories of one of my favourite childhood adverts: the eponymous ‘J R Hartley’ Yellow Pages ad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv1VQ7uSC-s An elderly chap wandering around bookstores in search of Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley. “It’s rather old,” he tells a shop keeper, as his search keeps drawing blanks. Upon arriving home disappointed, his daughter suggests he try looking in the Yellow Pages. After ringing up a shop and finding a copy of the illusive book, he asks if he can reserve it giving his name as ‘J R Hartley,’ revealing he was looking for his own book. The joy on his face at finding his book left viewers with a warm fuzzy feeling and the advert went down in folklore.

After catching the back end of this Day V Latelycharacter, I utilised the greatest invention of the last 10 years – Sky Plus - to rewind and watch the ad from the start. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8YDZKTvWMw Yellow pages have rebooted an old classic advert for the digital age! Same concept - a chap wanders from record store to record store searching for a vinyl called Pulse and Thunder by Day V Lately. After being rebuffed in numerous shops, he chips in with ‘It’s very old..1992 I think,’ (the start of the golden age of house music). He arrives home disappointed to be greeted by his daughter who says, ‘Never mind Dad. Have a look on the Yell iPhone app.' He subsequently finds a shop that has a copy and when leaving his name to reserve it – you guessed it – he is Day V Lately. My first reaction was to smile, as it brought back nostalgic memories of my youth trying to understand the ‘J R Hartley’ ad, and having it explained to me by my Dad. My second reaction was one of curiosity as the 90’s house fan in me enjoyed the teaser section of Pulse & Thunder faded into the advert, so I opened up my laptop and realised the extent of this advertising campaign. Fundamentally, the old concept of paper directories such as Thompson Local and Yellow Pages has been gradually dying out as people looking for various services are now drawn to Google. They are then presented with local and place listings on a live map. Why would you need a half a foot thick book to find your nearest pizza shop, when you can Google it on your smart phone or laptop? However, Yell are trying to drag themselves into the digital age with their iPhone app, supported by Day V Lately’s own Twitter page. He is, judging by his tweets, amazed that his track is now high up in the iTunes dance charts. Supported by the YouTube channels playing ‘Pulse & Thunder,’ the viral aspect of this video is now seeing it rise to 40,000+ views. I have to hold my hands up and admit while he’s no Frankie Knuckles, Day V Lately’s track is decent and I found myself listening to it on YouTube then buying it on iTunes. So I think the whole concept has worked in a sense. I was led round the marketing merry-go-round across various channels. However, while there was an honesty and purity to the ‘J R Hartley’ ad, this one smacks a touch of a Converse All-Stars wearing marketing bod over engineering it slightly. Besides if Mr. Lately was that keen to track down his old vinyl masterpiece, he should have just Googled ‘pulse & thunder, and 'vinyl.’ He could have then bought it from the top organic listing www.discogs.com, and saved himself mild embarrassment at being met with blank faces at record stores, and his daughter's iPhone battery. I suppose it would have made a slightly less interesting advert however...