W+K Portland, Verizon Want You to Turn Off Your Phones This Holiday Season

By Erik Oster 

W+K Portland launched a new spot for Verizon entitled “Home” which, purportedly, features a real family and communicates the message that once you’re home for the holidays it’s time to turn off your phone.

That may seem like an odd message from a cell phone network, but it follows and reinforces a much more expected one. The spot opens on a girl packing up a guitar before switching to a family stopped at a gas station. “Home” alternates between the two as the girl boards a bus and the family sets back off as the father makes a business call. Throughout the ad we see them relying on devices, to communicate arrival times and placate fighting children in the backseat, until everyone finally arrives. “This time of year, it’s good to have America’s most reliable network,” the voiceover chimes in as a hand is seen switching off a cell phone, “From the moment you need it, until the moment you don’t.”

The direction allows Verizon to foster good will with family-loving viewers, particularly disgruntled parents who wish their teens would stop texting for two minutes, while still bragging about the strength of its network. Telling viewers to switch off their phones gives the illusion of humility, right as the brand pats itself on the back. The implication is that Verizon helped everything go about as smoothly as can be expected for the holiday season by keeping everyone in touch digitally until they can spend real quality time together. The timing of the voiceover underscores the brand’s “most reliable network” message in a memorable way, but can’t help but come across as a bit transparently self-congratulatory, which some viewers may find detracts from the spot’s other, less self-serving message.

Creative Directors: Aaron Allen / Jason Kreher
Copywriter: Alex Romans
Art Director: John Dwight
Producer: Kevin Diller / Shannon Worley / Endy Hedman

Production Company: Stink USA
Director: John Hillcoat
Executive Producer: James Cunningham
Line Producer: Aris McGarry
Director of Photography: Dmitri Karakatsanis
Managing Director: Jeff Baron

Editorial Company: Exile
Editor: Kirk Baxter
Post Producer: Rebecca Baker
Post Executive Producer: CL Weaver

VFX Company: Saint
VFX Supervisor: Rob Trent
Flame Artist: Miles Essmiller
VFX Producer: Kristina Thoegersen
Executive Producer: Helen Park

Song: “I’m Right Here” by Theodore Shapiro

Mix Company: Eleven Sound
Mixer: Jeff Payne