Verizon Wins Two American Advertising Federation Mosaic Awards

NEW YORK - Verizon has won two awards from the American Advertising Federation in recognition of its multicultural advertising campaigns. The prestigious Mosaic Awards honor companies that are at the forefront of multicultural advertising.

Verizon and Burrell, the company's African-American agency, won the first-ever Advertiser & Agency of the Year award, created especially for Verizon's "Realize" advertising and marketing campaign, which featured budding entrepreneurs who rely on Verizon's broadband service. Additionally, Verizon and La Agencia De Orci, the company's Hispanic agency, won a Multicultural Media Usage award for the 2005 corporate brand campaign.

"We were impressed with Verizon and Burrell for coming up with the 'Realize' campaign, which really engaged people in the African-American community," said Wally Snyder, AAF president and CEO. "The whole campaign was just so inspiring that we created the Advertiser & Agency of the Year award to recognize both Verizon and Burrell for their outstanding efforts in multicultural advertising."

Jeff McFarland, director of multicultural marketing for Verizon, said, "I'm so proud of the team for getting this kind of recognition. At Verizon we care about our diverse customers and actively look for ways to specifically communicate with them."

Following Verizon's "Realize" campaign during which an entrepreneur spent 21 days in a storefront to show how Verizon's broadband service helped him live his life and get business done, the company also sponsored eight high school events.  Students who are aspiring entrepreneurs had to design working business plans.  The goal of each event was to encourage the students to use entrepreneurial thinking and business practices in carefully constructing and developing those plans.

Well-respected business leaders -- from Randal Pinkett, "The Apprentice" winner; to Sean Garrett, R & B songwriter and producer; to senior African-American executives from Verizon - served as judges to give the students suggestions and advice.

Verizon's win for Multicultural Media Usage was its attempt to reshape the company's image from the "old telephone company" to a leader in providing broadband services to Hispanic customers. 

The original testimonial TV commercials -- "Wrestler," "Mixer," "Baseball" and "Window" -- were stories obtained while conducting research for Verizon's new Hispanic corporate brand Web site, www.atodoloqueda.com (to the max). The four 30-second commercials reflect key Hispanic passions that are intimately tied to broadband: music, sports, gaming and accessing information about home improvement. In addition, Orci leveraged nine customized media integrations to reach the young, bilingual, bicultural Hispanic segment with sports, music/entertainment and technology/gaming to deliver the Verizon broadband experience and invite them to live their passions "a todo lo que da!" (to the max) with Verizon broadband.

These spots were added to the creative rotation and ran on targeted cable stations including SiTV, LATV, Fox Sports en Español, Mun2 and Galavisión.  Additional targeted media included local radio concert sponsorships, a national online banner campaign, and print placed within national magazines that portray the consumer's lifestyle.

Orci also adapted two other in-language TV commercials, "In" and "Adrenaline," for the Hispanic market, providing continuity to the established brand message. "In" was modified to better accommodate a preferred Hispanic music genre known as Reggaetón.

The American Advertising Federation will present its Mosaic Awards and District Two Diversity Achievement Awards, which recognize significant strides toward a diverse advertising industry, on Sept. 27 at the New York Athletic Club (180 Central Park South).  For more information on the awards ceremony, as well as feature panels featuring advertising leaders, visit www.aaf.org.

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ), a Dow 30 company, is a leader in delivering broadband and other wireline and wireless communication innovations to mass market, business, government and wholesale customers.  Verizon Wireless operates America's most reliable wireless network, serving nearly 55 million customers nationwide.  Verizon Business operates one of the most expansive wholly-owned global IP networks.  Verizon Telecom is deploying the nation's most advanced fiber-optic network to deliver the benefits of converged communications, information and entertainment services to customers.  Based in New York, Verizon has a diverse workforce of more than 252,000 and generates annual consolidated operating revenues of approximately $90 billion.  For more information, visit www.verizon.com.