Ad of the Day: 30 Rock Returns to Help Explain Verizon’s ‘Better Network’

Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer star in pair of W+K spots

Ever wish 30 Rock were still on the air?

When members of Tina Fey's unofficial fan club last encountered Jenna Maroney and Kenneth Parcel in the series finale, the former had finally taken "The Rural Juror" to Broadway while the latter achieved his rightful place as an ageless executive perched atop the NBC hierarchy like its signature peacock. 

Now the two—played by Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer—have returned in a new Verizon campaign from Wieden + Kennedy. In "Backdoor Brag," the almost-stars of one of Netflix's most popular streaming choices illustrate how much difference an allegedly superior service can make for those in the midst of an epic binge. 

So when Tracy Jordan himself once said, "My incompetence knows no bounds," he could have been speaking of Verizon's rivals. 

For part-time fans who missed it, the spot above was a direct reference to the Season 2 episode "Cooter," in which Kenneth must write a personal essay to apply to work as a page at the 2008 Summer OIympics in Beijing. (It even inspired an Urban Dictionary entry for "backdoor bragging.")

In the next—and sadly, last—ad in the series, Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander) and his signature hat(s) join in on the fun as the team (sort of) gets back together to illustrate what streaming might be like with any provider other than Verizon.

W+K and director Wayne McClammy managed to get much of the show's original crew back together to rebuild the sets and very briefly recapture the magic that can only come from well-scripted television. 

Conspicuously absent from these spots are Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy. This isn't too surprising, given that Tina Fey has a plate full of film work beyond The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Alec Baldwin has been busy acting as go-to brand advocate for Amazon and Kiehl's. 

But we're still holding out hope for a reunion. It could be a Curb Your Enthusiasm-style mockumentary of the making of the comeback special. It could even be a "He Needs a Kidney" musical fundraiser or a less disastrous Rockefeller Center Salute to Fireworks!

Think about it, NBC. In the meantime, we will continue chasing our lifelong goal of living every week like it's Shark Week.


Client: Verizon

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
Executive Creative Director: Joe Staples
Creative Directors: Aaron Allen, Jason Kreher, Joe Staples
Copywriter: Alex Romans
Art Director: Robbie Rane
Producer: Endy Hedman, Monica Ranes
Account Team: Diana Gonzalez, Marcelina Ward
Business Affairs: Laura Caldwell

Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Wayne McClammy
Executive Producer: Mino Jarjoura, Dan Duffy, Nancy Hacohen
Line Producer: Dave Bernstein
Director of Photography: Matt Clark

Editorial Company: Exile
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Post Producer: Toby Louie
Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

VFX Company: The Mill (LA)
Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan, Bidding Producer; Leighton Greer
Senior VFX: Producer Kait Boehm
Shoot Supervisor: Chris Knight, Robert Sethi
Executive Creative Director: Phil Crowe, Creative Director; Chris Knight
2D Lead Artist: Chris Knight
3D Lead Artist: Rasha Shalaby
2D Artists: Tim Bird, Peter Sidoriak, Scott Wilson, Alex Candlish, Jale Parrsons
3D Artists: Anthony Thomas, Michael Lori, Jason Jansky, Samantha Pedregon, Jie Zhou, Danny Yoon, Steve Olson
Matte Painting: Rasha Shalaby
Colourist: Adam Scott, Color Producer; Diane Valera, Color Exec Producer: Thatcher Peterson
VFX Coordinator: Chris Lewis

Music: 30 Rock theme song
Composer: Jeff Richmond
Sound Design Company: Barking Owl
Sound Designer: Michael Anastasi
Producer: Kelly Bayett

Mix Company: Eleven Sound
Mixer: Jeff Payne