NEW YORK - Verizon Communications resumed product advertising yesterday with the launch of a new campaign for its residential long-distance services, the first produced by the new agency relationship.
"The events of Sept. 11 weigh heavily on us all," said Jody Bilney, senior vice president--brand management and marketing communications for Verizon. "We suspended product advertising two weeks ago. More than 3,000 Verizon employees continue working to restore full service to the residents and businesses of lower Manhattan. At this point, we are striving to return our business operations to normal, and as part of that effort, we are telling our customers about great plans Verizon offers in long-distance."
Five television ads were developed using the theme "It's your life. It's your call." The campaign spots emphasize the honesty of Verizon long-distance plans and the simplicity of getting your local and long-distance service from one company. The television ads will be augmented in selected markets with print and direct mail.
"The new campaign underscores Verizon's commitment to bring simplicity and honesty back to long-distance," said Jill Wagner, vice president consumer marketing .for Verizon. "We offer our customers one source, one bill and simple calling plans. There are no hidden surprises in our calling plans."
Each of the 30-second ads highlights key messages such as Verizon's "fair rate promise," which assures customers their rates will drop automatically any time the rates for the plan they select go down. The 60-second ads tout Verizon's flat-rate domestic plan and its great international plan rates.
The campaign will start with three of the television ads airing in Albany, Boston, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, Syracuse, Tampa and Springfield, Mass. One of the 60-second spots features jazz musicians Marian McPartland and Eric Reed [chl1]. Verizon spokesman James Earl Jones provides voice-overs for each of the spots.
The new campaign was developed through the partnership of Lowe Lintas & Partners, New York and Draft Worldwide, New York. Verizon selected the partnership in April to provide central management of the Verizon brand and also to focus on residential and business product advertising. Draft and Lowe Lintas are both member agencies of the Interpublic Group of Companies, the largest advertising network in the world.
"By combining our direct marketing strengths with the branding expertise of Lowe Lintas, we produce a distinctive hybrid...memorable, actionable advertising that distinguishes Verizon and drives purchase while it builds brand," said David Florence, president of Draft Worldwide, N.Y.
To learn more about Verizon long-distance plans, customers can call 1-888-483-4410 or visit www.verizonld.com.
With offices in 27 countries, billings of more than $3 billion, and a blue-chip client roster, Draft Worldwide are one of the industry's leading integrated global marketing agencies. Draft Worldwide is a unit of The Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG).
Lowe Lintas & Partners ranks among the world's top five agency groups, with billings in excess of US $12.3 billion and offices in over 80 countries. Lowe is a member of the Interpublic Group of Companies, Inc. (NYSE: IPG).
Verizon is currently the fourth-largest long-distance company, offering service in 39 states to more than six million customers. The Telecommunications Research and Action Center, a consumer watchdog agency, reported last fall that New York customers are saving about $220 million annually on their phone bills because of telecommunications competition there. Approximately half the savings, $120 million, comes from the lower long-distance rates enjoyed by Verizon's Long Distance customers-- savings of up to $10 a month per customer. Service will be introduced in Pennsylvania in October.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 125 million access line equivalents and approximately 28 million wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. A Fortune 10 company with about 260,000 employees and more than $65 billion in annual revenues, Verizon's global presence extends to 40 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.