Verizon Wants People to Say “I Didn’t Know Verizon Did That”

Verizon Wants People to Say “I Didn’t Know Verizon Did That”

Verizon has always been big on marketing and PR. A couple of years ago their campaign, then on the verge of becoming annoying, featured a guy moving about the country into unlikely places and asking  – “Can you hear me now?” He’s become the Sprint spokesman in yellow these days, presumably after a non-compete period, but since Verizon did such a great job with that campaign, it’s now working against them as Mr. Red has now become Mr. Yellow – a man well recognized because of all his map-covering ads for Verizon.

So now, after taking a lot of hits for being the most expensive telecommunications company in the US, with either fewer options or more costs, they are launching new concepts, generating more possibilities for the future, and lower costing/better coverage plans. Using ads as well as videos about their work toward the future for their “I didn’t know …” campaign.

In 2016 they became the leader of 5G or wireless fiber, which is 100 times faster than 4G. They also already acquired AOL, and soon Yahoo will be fully integrated, bringing them digital media access to 1.3 billion users.

According to Lowell C. McAdams, CEO and Chairman for Verizon, they are investing a lot in the IoT future possibilities where they hope to eventually hit broadband speeds of 1GB through processes such as One Fiber in large cities such as Boston. Ultimately the smart cities will bring intelligent transportation, intelligent water grids, and intelligent electrical systems, making everything more efficient and faster.

As part of the intelligent transportation systems, they have built and are increasing their connected solutions starting with their acquisition of Global Fleet. Internet connections to transportation systems are expected to hit a market worth of $40 billion by 2020. Verizon’s move for that now includes additional acquisitions of both Telogis and Fleetmatics. This has brought them closer to the business of assisted driving, automatic driving, tapping into wireless connections to fleet vehicles, as well as related markets such as vehicle maintenance and insurance for vehicles. Did you know Verizon can or soon will do that?

Instead of dry quarterly and annual reports to their stakeholders, they are producing videos that can later be shared through social media. Not flat, boring, and numbers-driven tomes, but mini movies of what is planned or already happening.

Director of corporate communications at Verizon Bob Varettoni said: “We led with video because we wanted to tell a story and have people visualize the tech company Verizon has become.” They hope to make a faster impact with the videos and attract more viewers. Videos have included talks and interviews with McAdam (2016), Clarence Otis, Jr., CEO of Darden Restaurants and Chairman of the board’s HR committee (2017), and Royal Dutch Shell’s former EVP and Independent Lead Director for Verizon, Frances Keeth (2017).

The videos were made with creative agency Addison’s help at Verizon’s in-house studio in New York. Addison also helped on GE’s annual report.

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