Yellow Pages Boss Not Happy Jan

Australia’s Yellow Pages continue to have a strong association with a television commercial from 2001, “Not Happy, Jan”. The 30 second spot blazed deeply into the Australian consciousness, reminding office workers not to miss the deadline for inclusion in the 2002 Yellow Pages. In an office, a manager, played by Deborah Kennedy, looks through the newly arrived Yellow Pages, the business directory of choice for many Australians. “Jan!”, she calls. “Jan!!! Where’s our ad in the Yellow Pages Directory?”

Not Happy, Jan!


Jan is out in the office, quickly deciding to make a run for it. “Keep calm. Counting one, two, three…”. Jan’s down the stairs. “Nine, ten”. Jan’s out on the street. The window opens a tad. Kennedy’s character yells, “Not happy, Jan!!!!!”. The super: “Closing soon. Call 13 23 78. www.yellowpages.com.au”.

Credits

The Yellow Pages campaign was developed for Telstra by Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, by copywriter Tony Greenwood and art director Sarah Barclay.

Filming was directed by Paul Middleditch, then with Independent Films, Sydney, now with Plaza Films. Middleditch won an award for direction at the Australian Television Awards and best campaign at Melbourne Advertising Design Club.

Sound was produced by Barry Stewart at Sound Reservoir.

Effectiveness

Campaign tracking conducted by Taylor Nelson Sofres in 2001 revealed the TVC reached 88 percent of existing advertisers and 81 percent of non-advertisers, and had a significant and positive impact on brand perception. (The Power). The phrase, “Not happy, Jan” became part of the Australian vernacular, turning up in the title of a book on Prime Minister John Howard, “Not Happy, John”. See Julian Lee’s write-up, “Doing Very Nicely, thanks Jan”, at Sydney Morning Herald, and Not Happy, Jan at Wikipedia

Telstra‘s Directory services were rebranded as Sensis in 2002, the year after “Not Happy, Jan” was aired. Sensis has moved from the brand “Yellow Pages” to just “Yellow”.

  • Rod

    Please tell me where can I download a copy of the original ad? My wife is from Peru and I desperately wish to show here what we’re all going on about.

    Best ad ever!

  • rick

    Yes, I agree,an excellent piece of work; the irate boss having to restrain her anger,shouting into the street through a small window,the panicking employee running away – a very well thought-out ad.

  • Tiff

    There was a follow up ad to the original ‘Not Happy Jan’ ad where the assistant is left out on the window ledge as punishment. Does anyone know where a video clip of this can be sourced?