I was off guard and happened to watch one of this antiquated TV spots (the cute :15 kind) It was for www.yellowpages.com and featured an extremely fit and toned woman jogging/running up against a crowded down escalator. We then see a search box with the word "health clubs" and payoff is something to the effect of "we wrote the book on local search"
Even though I'm being positively anal and literal about this...tell me one person who doesn't know where the local gym is in their area, especially someone in shape? Why use an exaggerated distortion of reality to make an oversimplified and even irrelevant point? Why not show the toilet overflowing or someone being locked out of their house? It happens to all of us...and when it does, we never know who to call.
Why not show someone using their mobile phone when locked out; their PC when the toilet is overflowing and yes, even their brick of a book if required. The name of the game is "interconsumptability" - interoperability of media distribution and consumption. Marketers and their agencies are looking for integrated offerings, not siloed ones.
I do think targeting "local search" and calling it as such is a smart strategy. Do I think it will work against the 8(10)^10-pound gorilla? Perhaps and perhaps not. But there's no question that focusing on a core competancy, combined with the heritage/equity/affinity is better than 30-second ads about yellow books.
There are several smart ways to go about doing this...which I won't get into now.
The bottom line here is that non-traditional forms of marketing are not just limited to business models, distribution platforms or mediums and tactical executions. The message is just as important (McLuhan? McLuhan? Bueller? Bueller?) New Marketing to a New Consumer requires New Messaging.