W+K Compares Verizon to Everything and the Kitchen Sink

By Patrick Coffee 

As you all know, Verizon sent some minor shock waves through the agency world last year by picking Wieden+Kennedy as its newest creative partner without a review.

Word at the time held that mcgarrybowen would remain AOR for the client’s wireless business, but a massive new W+K campaign released today makes clear that this is not the case. (For the record, mcgarrybowen remains a member of the Verizon roster as of the last time the client laughed at us and our silly questions.)

Some of our savvier readers know that the ads in this campaign are not the first Verizon spots produced by Wieden. The earlier work included this one starring a kid and his expanding drum set and this one featuring a very sad dog, frowny face. It’s true that these spots were a bit more pedestrian (for lack of a better word) than the main event, but the focus this week is on the many, many different spots in the new campaign, titled “Better Matters.”

First we have the launch ad, which hints at what’s to come. The main point? Verizon is just BETTER. You know it.

The “anthem” echoes W+K’s Weight Watchers Super Bowl campaign in focusing on those small moments that we’d rather forget. The rest of the work is quite literally all over the place because, now that we know why a better network matters, we need a bunch of people to tell us what that phrase actually means.

They’re really just conveying the same message in different ways: Verizon’s wireless network is the best/fastest/most effective delivery mechanism for the data that has become the most important part of your everyday life.

First we have a couple of so-called experts in the form of a French dude and a creepy housewife.

The next spot is like a mashup of all those 80s movies you hate to love, complete with the intro for “True.”

Next comes a series of shorts that boil down to “Verizon is like X and everybody else is like Y.”

There’s a crazy straw.

There’s a paper lizard with a tail that grows back like THIS.

There’s a crowd of animated people desperately trying to squeeze through the same tiny door.

Finally, did you know that football season starts tonight? A couple of NFL players weigh in on why Verizon is better, because of course they do.

First, backup quarterback Luke McCown opines that those backup generators mentioned in the lizard spot really just need their own chance to shine.

In another case of man as machine, J.J. Watt is just doing his utility thing, hanging out in the forest and chopping some goddamned wood.

As you can see, this is a “something for everyone” campaign. Creative directors Aaron Allen and Jason Kreher explain the thinking behind the shorter spots:

“The challenge was explaining some pretty dry facts in a way that would resonate. So instead of finding one message that worked for everyone, we went in with dozens of messages that could speak to different people in different ways.”

We’re not going to post all 14 of the ads in this campaign, but you can check out the ones we skipped here. It should be interesting to see how this work plays on live TV and whether Verizon, which certain has no shortage of funding, chooses to stick with a single agency when it could work with anyone at any time.

Now get a load of these credits.


Client: Verizon
Title: “Better Matters”

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy Portland
Creative Directors: Aaron Allen, Jason Kreher
Copywriter: Alex Romans, Nathaniel Lawlor
Art Director: Tim Semple, Ruth Belloti
Producer: Hayley Goggin, Endy Hedman
Strategic Planning: Amber Higgins, Anibal Casso
Media/Comms Planning: Kelly Muller, Kelsey Dean
Account Team: Trish Adams, Diana Gonzalez, Marcelina Ward
Business Affairs: Anna Beth Nagel, Laura Caldwell
Project Management: Liza Robbins
Executive Creative Directors: Joe Staples / Mark Fitzloff
Head of Production: Ben Grylewicz
Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Aselton
Executive Producer: Marc Marnie
Line Producer: Zoe Odlum
Director of Photography: Toby Irwin
Editorial Company: Joint Editorial
Editor: Tommy Harden
Post Producer: Jen Milano
Post Executive Producer: Leslie Carthy
VFX Company: The Mill
2D Lead: Robin McGloin
2D artists: Scott Wilson, Alex Candlish, Jeff Langlois
Lead Design+Animation: Justin Sucara
Senior Executive Producer: Sue Troyan
Pr VFX Producer: Kiana Bicoy
Production Coordinator: Jillian Lynes
Composer: Alison Ables
Sound Designer: Noah Woodburn
Mix Company: Eleven
Mixer: Jeff Payne
Producer: Suzanne Hollingshead

Title: “Door,” “Lizard,” “Egg”

Production Company: Buck
Director: Ryan Honey (Door, Lizard, Egg); Kevin Walker (Door); Gunnar Pettersson (Lizard); Jenny Ko (Egg)
Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Line Producer: Matt Squires (Egg)
Director of Photography: Jonpaul Douglass (Egg)
Editorial Company: Buck
Editor: Buck
Post Producer: Emily Rickard
Post Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
VFX Company: Buck
VFX Supervisor: Doug Wilkinson (Door, Lizard, Egg); Alex Dingfelder (Lizard)
VFX Producer: Emily Rickard
Music+Sound Company: Mutato + LIME
Composer: Mark Mothersbaugh
Sound Designer: Rohan Young
Song: “Blissful Driving Experience”
Producer: Natalie Montogomery
Music+Sound Company: PIVOT
Sound Designer: Rohan Young
Producer: Susie Boyajan/Guy Amatai
Mix Company: LIME
Mixer: Rohan Young
Producer: Susie Boyajan

Title: “Backup QB,” “Juice,” “It Couple,” “Scuba”

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Director: Stacy Wall
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Line Producer: Terri Shafirov
Director of Photography: Ellen Kuras
Editorial Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Grant Surmi
Assistant Editor: Ben Reesing
Post Producer: Ashley Bartell
Post Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
VFX Company: a52
Lead Flame Artist: Andy Bate, Stefan Gaillot
Flame Artist: Matt Sousa
Flame Assistant: Gabe Sanchez
Post Producer: Zach Wakefield
Music+Sound Company: Original music by Human
Producer: Jonathan Sanford
Music+Sound Company: tonefarmer
Composer: Jimmy Harned
Producer: Liz Higgins
Sound Company: Lime Studios
Sound Designer: Dave Wagg
Assistant: Adam Primack
Producer: Susie Boyajan
Mix Company: Lime Studios
Mixer: Zach Fisher
Producer: Susie Boyajan
Assistant: Kevin McAlpine

Title: “Hourglass,” “Basketball,” “Straw”

Production Company: Hornet
Director: Lernert & Sander
Executive Producer: Hana Shimizu
Line Producer: David Marks
Director of Photography: Aaron Platt
Editorial Company: Hornet
Editor: Anita Chao
Post Producer: Desiree Stavracos
Post Executive Producer: Hana Shimizu
VFX Company: Hornet
VFX Supervisor: Arman Matin
VFX Producer: Desiree Stavracos
Music+Sound Company: PIVOT, Barking Owl
Composer: Pivot + Barking Owl
Producer: Guy Amitai
Mix Company: LIME
Producer: Susie  Boyajan

Title: “The Network of J.J. Watt”

Production Company: Arts & Sciences
Director: Matt Aselton
Executive Producer/COO: Mal Ward
Executive Producer: Marc Marrie
Line Producer: Zoe Odlum
Director of Photography: Ulrik Boel Bentzen
Editorial Company: Arcade Editorial
Editor: Jeff Ferruzzo
Post Producer: Lauren Cancelosi
Editorial Assistant: Mark Popham
VFX Company: The Mill
VFX Flame: John McIntosh and Molly Intersimone
Producer: Clairellen Wallen, Georgina Castle
Telecine Company: The Mill
Colorist: Fergus McCall
Mix Company: Sound Lounge
Mixer: Glen Landrum
Music: Able Baker