Cannes Lions

First Responders First


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Verizon has spent billions building America’s largest, most reliable 4G LTE network. People know it’s the best network—but network quality is losing some of its meaning to people, so they’re being tempted by cheaper networks.

We needed an emotional campaign that would remind people how much network reliability matters.

The most meaningful testament to Verizon’s reliability is that more First Responders use Verizon than any other network. There fact that they rely on Verizon in high-stakes, life-changing situations is incredibly meaningful.

So, after a record year of natural disasters, where all of us relied on first responders more than ever, we wanted to show the power of Verizon’s network in a meaningful way, by highlighting the work of first responders.

When people need help, first responders always answer the call. But the call they almost never get is one saying “thank you.” In the shock and trauma of emergencies, survivors often don’t know who helped them, let alone how to find them afterwards.

We wanted to do something about it. With the help of an investigative team, we scoured decades of news archives. Then, we connected survivors with their first responders over the phone so they could finally say thank you.

We shared these stories on TV during the Super Bowl and in social, driving viewers to a site where they could share their own thanks.

By connecting real survivors with the first responders who saved them, we not only provided a poignant reminder of our network reliability, but also helped give first responders the thanks they deserve. People across the country joined us in sharing their thanks, creating a movement of support using #AllOurThanks.

The campaign first aired with the “Answering the Call” :60 spot on February 4th during Super Bowl LII, following the halftime show. It featured four of our first responder/survivor stories. Each of our seven stories is highlighted further with individual :30 and long-form videos. These ran on TV (incl. during the Olympics), Facebook and YouTube through March 4th. Short teasers ran on social media the morning of February 4th, leading up to the Super Bowl. TV and other paid media drove to a campaign microsite where people could read more about our stories, show their support for First Responders and make a donation to the American Red Cross.

The emotional moments of this campaign resonated with people. Sentiment towards wireless networks is often negative, but according to published third-party analysis, Verizon had the highest positive sentiment of all brands across all categories during the Super Bowl, with 94% positive comments. There was a 367 times increase in people talking positively about Verizon. Covered by over 400 outlets. Over 1.7 billion PR impressions.

By raising the stakes and giving people an emotionally-resonant reason to pay more for wireless, we raised value perceptions, allowing Verizon to command a price premium. Despite cutthroat discounting from competitors, Verizon added 567,000 more lines in Q1 2018 than during the same period the prior year.

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