W+K Portland Stages a Partial 30 Rock Reunion for New Verizon Campaign

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched a new campaign for Verizon featuring a 30 Rock reunion of sorts with Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer reprising their roles as Jenna Maroney and Kenneth Parcel.

The show was likely selected due to its status as one of the most streamed shows on Netflix, as the campaign contrasts streaming with Verizon with other networks, although, of course, it doesn’t hurt that it was a true classic which people recall fondly.

Fans will undoubtedly be happy to see these characters return to the screen, and the spots actually manage to capture at least a tiny bit of the show’s humor.

The approach works better in “Backdoor Brag,” in which Kenneth struggles to write a personal essay for a network application and Jenna explains to him what a humble brag is. Both characters stick to character, so the selling point doesn’t feel too forced even though it comes as the voiceover decries how other carriers “automatically shrink your videos so they’re not HD quality” and the walls close in on our heroes, Death Star garbage compactor-style.

In the other spot, “Audition,” the characters feel a bit too removed from the reality of the show for the combination to work. Featuring a cameo from the many-hatted Judah Friedlander as Frank Rossitano (he appears briefly in the background in “Humble Brag” as well), the spot sees the characters caught in a bad stream, much to Jenna’s horror.

As fans of the show, we hope W+K continues the 30 Rock theme for Verizon, with spots that like “Humble Brag” manage to capture some of what made the show great. We’re also holding out some hope that Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin will make appearances as Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy in a future effort, but that may be a bit of stretch. We’d settle for a good “Werewolf Bar Mitzvah” reference. 


Client: Verizon

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, Ore.
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