Sensis goes psycho with new White Pages campaign

Sensis’ White Pages pays homage to Janet Leigh’s shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic movie Psycho in its latest online campaign.

Featuring a showering woman being terrified by a call from an unknown number, the ad, created by The Royals, will be shown on digital channels including the White Pages’ own website, Facebook page and various other online properties.

“There’s always that flicker of fear which arises in us when we see an unknown number come through on our phones,” said The Royal’s Creative Director, Stuart Nightingale. “So to highlight White Pages’ solution to this problem through their ‘Who’s calling?’ functionality, we took that feeling of fear, however small and brief it may be, and decided to really over-dramatise, paying homage to one of the world’s greatest horror scenes starring the ultimate movie monster – the unknown number.”

The White Pages app will tap into the company’s database to reveal the business name of the company calling consumers. Instead of a phone number, which is not saved in the consumer’s contact list displaying, the business’ name will appear, enabling Android and iOS users to decid whether to accept or ignore a call.

“It’s aimed at busy mums who don’t have time for unknown callers and also everyone else who hates getting unknown numbers. That’s a pretty broad base, so we were keen to find a solution that had mass appeal,” continued Nightingale. “The scene from psycho is classic and iconic, which helps cross a wide range of ages and demographics.”

Stephen Palmer, executive general manager at White Pages, said the feature overcomes the problem where phone users only answer calls from numbers stored in their contact lists.

“The inconvenience of this approach can arise when the businesses that consumers genuinely want to connect with attempt to return a call or conduct a follow up on the enquiry,” he said.

“Because the number isn’t stored as a contact, more often than not, the consumer wouldn’t automatically recognise it. Their knee-jerk reaction is to send it straight to voicemail, rather than face the potential of being confronted with someone they have no interest in speaking to.”

Along with the ‘Who’s Calling?’ feature Sensis has also announced the release of a foreign language function giving visitors the ability to view White Pages in 20 different languages as well as voice-based search capabilities.

The White Pages voice search allows users to source details from the database hands-free, which enables those who are physically unable to use a mobile device to still access the information they need.

“These three new services mark the next stage of our digital transformation and are just the start of a series of planned product launches that will further revolutionise the way Australians connect,” Palmer said.


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