Why Dex Gets My Vote For Best TV Campaign 2008-2009

If you’ve seen any of the “Dex Knows” TV spots (and I believe many of you have), then you are one of the main reasons I just love this campaign — you can remember it.

Unfortunately, the agency disabled the embed code in YouTube, so I have to send you there to see it.  Just click on this link to DEX’S YOUTUBE PAGE.

It’s one thing to produce a nice, memorable spot, but it means nothing to the advertiser if their name and service gets lost in the agency’s creative. That doesn’t happen here. But in addition to getting the name out — often — the spots also humanize the benefits of this ultra heavy reference tool that we all likely take for granted. This makes it easy for viewers to see how the product fits into their busy lives, and it reminds them how thorough the information is. Perfect.

There are about a dozen spots here, and they’ve even extended the campaign to radio without really missing a beat. Just listen to him give a “seminar” to nervous retailers looking to increase their business. “You know all those websites with the funny names? I know those guys, and I can get your producst listed!” You really feel that he has an easy answer to retailers who are looking to extend their reach. Plus, with his dynamic message, he cuts out all the competitors who have been cutting into Dex’s business for years.

As for TV, watch how each spot focuses on just one important thing:  One explains how easy the site works with smart phones (and watch Dex giggle from the “vibrate” setting on the phone!).  Another compares this targeted site with a “humongous site” that uses odd terms in its search.  Each one is unique, but fits perfectly into the brand. Plus, the brand not only easily extends to radio, but also print and online ads.

So when you think of all the competition for yellow page advertising, it makes sense that someone would brand themselves differently.  In this case, they turned “Yellow Pages” into “Dex Knows” and added a blue color to the yellow.

What do you think?  Do the spots hit a chord with you?  Have you tried Dex since they ran?  Did you remember the site’s name when you were going to search for a local business?  From what I’ve read about the results of this campaign, many people have responded.  And that’s just great.


  1. Peter Olesker
    August 19, 2009

    Memorable, certainly. But this campaign has been like nails on a chalkboard for me. I suppose if you’re the yellow pages personified you’re going to be somewhat of a know-it-all, but I just can’t bring myself to like the guy who plays Dex. Plus, I’ve seen him as the spokesman for at least a couple of other products since the Dex campaign began running, so he’s lost whatever credibility he had with me as the Dex character. Think if the Verizon guy all of the sudden showed up as Mr. Goodwrench. It would confuse the viewer and hurt his credibility in relation to both products. He’s the “Can You Hear Me Now” guy, and that’s it. I hate to disagree with you Charles, but I’m vexed when it comes to Dex.

  2. August 20, 2009

    Great comments Peter. Regarding over exposure of spokespeople, I had a similar experience with the Miller High Life guy. I loved the spots and thought he personified the MHL drinker and attitude. Then I saw him on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody and was immediately reminded that he’s an actor. I cannot look at the MHL spots the same way.
    I think I even saw the Dex spokesman in a kids show, and it may have been the same one, but the character was a bit different than his Dex character.
    Part of why I like Dex is that to me, he fits the kind of character who’d be an encyclopedia of local, helpful information.
    But when picking this campaign as my favorite, the spokesman was just a minor reason. What I really love is the way each spot cleanly and creatively makes a unique sales point. The whole campaign stays true to the brand while covering a lot of ground. And, as you pointed out, it’s memorable. In today’s clutter, that’s critical.
    Thanks for the comments Peter.

  3. Angela
    August 31, 2009

    Just like you said, I think these commercials do a great job personifying “Dex” in order to get the point across. They remind me of the Apple commercials because they focus on one specific point about Dex and keep things very clean cut. Great marketing on their part.

  4. September 16, 2009

    I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read…:)


  5. September 17, 2009

    First-rate Post.

    I want to thank you for the post.