Cannes Lions

Best for a good reason

THE COMMUNITY, Miami / VERIZON / 2019

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Verizon has been known as the best wireless network for years. That’s how we became industry leader. But in 2018, too many people no longer saw why having the best network was worth the price. They asked “how much better is it really?”

We were known for the consumer benefits of a network: speed, reliability and coverage. People knew our nationwide coverage map. But when we asked what physically made up a wireless network they drew a blank. They had no image of the product we actually make: a network. They didn’t see the core of who we are, what we do, or why we do what we do.

So, we took on an experiment to explore a radically different way to convince customers that having the “best network” was worth the price. And to show the truth behind what makes Verizon great.

Idea

We thought we knew what made a network great, but what engineers shared with us was astounding. There are thousands of engineers, constantly building and adapting a massively physical, highly-localized network, all across the country.

Engineers drive the Bay Bridge twice daily to tune the network, so people can call daycare from their evening commute. They climb towers in ice storms, so nobody gets stranded on the highway. They add network capacity at new concert venues, so fans can order a car and get home safely after their show.

Real people, making decisions on behalf of other people, make our network what it is.

Our insight was that instead of talking about the consumer benefits with coverage maps, we needed to show what goes in at each square mile of the map: the people, human intention and dedication.

Strategy

Ultimately, the goal of the Best For A Good Reason campaign was to uncover for the consumer the hard work behind the network that keeps them connected––the work no one usually sees. To reach that goal, the key KPI defined was viewership completion in digital platforms.

Each month, we launched 1 or 2 nationally targeted stories to drive viewership scale, with wide enough relevance to appeal to a mass audience, and 2 to 4 local stories, hyper-focused on the communities featured. The logic being that through volume of stories told at both a national and local level, viewers would be more likely to pay attention in mediums not traditionally known for viewership completion, while understanding all the “reasons” Verizon’s network stands out as best.

Execution

The media approach was a practical one––how can we reach as many people as possible with as many “reasons” as possible. Social and digital platforms became the obvious choice because of the turnkey way the :30 videos could be deployed. Through trial and error we began launching about 4-6 spots per month across paid and organic social, as well as some pre-roll, quickly finding that the scrolling nature of the feeds was not conducive to the educational nature of the campaign. Viewership was high, but completion was not where it needed to be.

In Q2, we pivoted to pre-roll primarily across multiple vendors, which scaled viewership practically overnight. By Q3, after analyzing viewership performance, we found that YouTube was the platform where not only were we scaling, but viewers were opting into watching our “Reasons” to completion at almost 200% above YouTube’s usual viewership completion rate for skippable ads.

Outcome

New Perspective. New Leadership.

50 spots created. And people cared. They. Cared. About. Wireless. Ads. 167MM total views.

Firstly, we tested the videos in market digitally. The campaign’s 56.4% average Video Completion Rate more than doubled YouTube’s 25% benchmark. Standout performers reached around 70%.

“Network that’s one step ahead” doubled among prospects (21% to 43%) and consideration increased 13 points (29% to 42%.)

In fact, Best for a Good Reason performed so strongly in digital, we ran it on national TV. Where our $25,000 videos outperformed over $1 million productions. And, though we didn’t mention an offer or price, we saw the greatest increase in “worth the price” in memory (15% to 41%).

Most importantly, Best for a Good Reason changed how Verizon saw itself. It became the core for what we call

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