Verizon Ads Tout New Name

Roster Shops Craft Post-Merger Campaign to Run Nationwide
BOSTON–Verizon Communications, the telecommunications giant formed through the merger of Bell Atlantic and GTE, last week broke a brand-building campaign designed to introduce the new company nationwide.
Spending for the August push was not disclosed, but the effort is believed to be budgeted in the eight-figure range.
Verizon roster shops The Lord Group, New York, Burrell Communications, Chicago, Temerlin McClain, Dallas, and La Agencia de Orci, Los Angeles, all contributed to the push, which has been expected [Adweek, June 22]. Zenith Media, New York, handled most of the buying chores.
Television, radio, print and Web executions, as well as outdoor ads, are included. The print component showcases Verizon employees, who introduce the company’s new name and promise customers they can expect the same level of service they enjoyed with Bell Atlantic and GTE.
“Our employees take center stage in the first campaign because they are the face of the new Verizon,” said Janet Keeler, Verizon senior vice president of brand management and marketing services. “They are the ones who build relationships with customers, and they are the ones who deliver our promises to customers.”
One print ad shows a woman in Verizon headgear with the copy, “Bell Atlantic is now Verizon. Splicer Debbie Adams got a new hard hat. New name. Same dedicated service team.” Twin images of James Earl Jones, Bell Atlantic’s long-time spokesman, merge into one pitchman in the first TV execution. There is no specific tagline.
The Federal Communications Commission in June OK’d Bell Atlantic’s $52 billion acquisition of GTE. The resulting company, based in New York, be-comes the No. 1 local phone company in the U.S.–and No. 2 telecom provider overall behind AT&T.
Separately, Verizon continues to solicit ideas from roster agencies for an estimated $20-30 million brand and product push to break in the fall. Burrell, Lord Group and Temerlin are all participating in that competition, along with Arnold Communications, Boston, and Ogilvy & Mather, Dallas. That process will likely yield several assignments, including a brand position to be used across most Verizon advertising. No agencies are expected to lose business as a result of that evaluation. K