Verizon was losing land line customers to mobile phones at an alarming rate. The mission was to retain the consumer base with a relatively unknown technology called DSL – the pre-curser broadband. We came up with a strategy to connect with the burgeoning “DIY – better me” social movement. “Realize” became the mantra and Philadelphia was the test case. The Verizon Realize transmedia experience played host to a social movement and powered it with Verizon technology.
The idea was elastic enough to go from art to commerce while maintaining authenticity and purpose. The experience featured film, live engagement where the customer could touch and try the product, contests, live blogging, snipe, commercials and retail communications. The cornerstone event put an aspiring entrepreneur in a store front business incubator in downtown Philadelphia. Addye Durant lived in the incubator 24 hours a day for 21 days. Her journey was streamed live – the first engagement of its kind.
The cornerstone of the idea was putting an aspiring entrepreneur (Addye Durant) in a storefront in Philly with nothing but a computer, a DSL line, and her dreams – online 24/7 for 21 days. People were able to chat with her online and watch and chart her progress. She had hidden sleeping quarters, as did the production and creative staff, behind the scenes. It was an online Realize show.
There is a change to make, a place to be, a person to become. There are distances to cross, heights to reach and hopes to fulfill. There are dreams to …realize. These are the instruments of change, the channels for ambition, the engines for drive. These are the tools of dreams. These are the tools…of Verizon.
In the end sales were up 310% of goal through May, with four more weeks of activity scheduled. Campaign received 1.5 billion media impressions. Shoppers/buyers were referring to themselves as Realizers and spreading the news about a wonderful product/brand that could change lives. The campaign achieved a 9.3 point lift in the brand health measure.