I saw the ad the other night. Straight to the point... use Ask to find out about local needs. Plumbers, pizza, hospitals - all the highlighted points from the local interface.
It is interesting how the search engines are starting to compete for branding on television to get people to use their search engines. MSN had been doing it for a little while - though have not seen any recently. Superpages and Verizona are also using the TV to brand local search.
Obviously the engines see this as being the next big area where they can drive more traffic to the engines. I have to admit I agree... we may have hit the wall where growth of regular search will no longer grow at expontential numbers like before. The growth will be equal to the growth in users of the web and a small incremental increase as it becomes more widely used to gather information - but the numbers are reaching saturation and this push to show people other ways of using search has scope and huge growth potential. Obviously the engines agree as they are working with the old method of local search - phone directories.