It's a Family Affair as Verizon Launches New Brand-Advertising Campaign

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NEW YORK - America, meet the Elliotts.

They're a multicultural family from Anywhere, USA, who are poised to show the country how Verizon's products and services make their lives easier and more rewarding.

The Elliott family will be featured in a series of seven commercials, using a sitcom-like format, that will air in 15 markets and on national cable throughout the remainder of 2004, and in an online marketing program as well. Both are part of a new integrated branding and product awareness advertising campaign for Verizon.

The Elliotts will be joined by neighbors -- the Davis family and the Sandovals -- who will entertain and inform Verizon customers about the company's products and services in the African-American and Hispanic markets, respectively.

And don't be surprised if members of one of the families make cameo appearances in the other families' spots. Professional actors will play the roles of all the members of the three families.

"We are very excited about this new advertising concept. It's a unique and innovative platform to showcase our products and services in a true-to-life family setting," said Jerri DeVard, Verizon's senior vice president for Brand Management and Marketing Communications.

"The families are likeable and not quite traditional. They use calling services and DSL with ease - OK, maybe Dad needs some help - they communicate with friends and family, near and far, and they bank on their Verizon products and services to get them through schedules, careers, boyfriends, dinners - you name it. It's a brand campaign and product awareness campaign rolled into one.

"We're reinforcing the value and dependability of our products as the company transforms into one that utilizes Internet-based technologies to provide the full breadth of services to our customers, from broadband connections to traditional voice services," she said.

The Elliotts campaign will launch today with a 60-second spot, followed by a series of six 30-second spots. The commercials will focus primarily on Verizon's DSL service and the bundles of products and services the company offers. The commercials will have a similar musical theme, will be self-contained stories, and will have opening and closing "credits" to support the sitcom feel. The campaign will have a media plan that includes prime time television, and national and spot cable. Two spots featuring the Davises and three with the Sandovals have been produced. The campaigns will use Verizon's longtime tagline, "Make progress every day."

Said DeVard, "The testing we had done for the campaigns showed that the concept of a family using Verizon products and services to manage their busy and harried lives really resonated with our customers."

Verizon advertising agencies McGarry Bowen, Burrell Communications, and La Agencia de Orcí & Asociados worked together to integrate common openings, music and end frames into the three campaigns.

The Elliotts campaign also includes online advertising featuring the characters from the commercials and a Web site component that enables Internet users to visit the Elliott house, find out about the characters, and get information about Verizon's DSL service and Freedom packages of services. The online portion of the campaign was developed by R/GA and Avenue A, Verizon's interactive agencies.

"This campaign portrays the Verizon brand in every sense - our personality, trust, dependability and value for the customer's dollar," DeVard said. "The spots also create a bond with our direct marketing efforts, raising awareness of Verizon's products and services and inviting our customers to call us or visit our Web site. The various campaigns have to work in tandem to drive sales, the ultimate objective." said DeVard.

Meet the Elliotts

  • Multicultural family of six
  • Father, Tom
  • Mother, Marta
  • Georgia, 17, a socially active daughter who phones friends endlessly
  • Raphael, 12, a techno-centric son whose favorite activity is surfing the Web
  • Christina, 9, independent, savvy and ready to take on the world
  • Oscar, 4, faces typical challenges of a child
  • Grandfather, Ralph, makes occasional visits
  • Dog, Hambone

Meet the Davises

  • African-American family of five
  • Father, Nick
  • Grandmother, Rachel
  • Sabrina, 18, strong, smart, independent daughter who uses technology to enhance her relationships.
  • Jamal, 14, son who uses the Internet as his passport to everything
  • Jacqui, 8, a diva in the making

Meet the Sandovals

  • Hispanic family of six
  • Father, Paco
  • Mother, Luz Maria
  • Nicholas, 17, the quiet type, always reading a book, or writing a short story
  • Laura, 13, mixes both cultures masterfully. A true multi-tasker constantly on the Internet and on the phone
  • Jimmy, 10, mixes Spanish and English, to his parents' amusement. Uses the latest gadgets for searching the Internet.
  • Grandmother, Abuela
  • Dog, Zacatecas

A Fortune 20 company, Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services, with approximately $68 billion in annual revenues. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world, as measured by directory titles and circulation. Verizon's international presence includes wireline and wireless communications operations and investments, primarily in the Americas and Europe. For more information, visit


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