To launch its Fios TV product, which provides customers with fiber optic-powered picture and sound, in the New Jersey market, Verizon developed a viral marketing campaign centered on the theme, “Ultimate Eye Candy.” Consumers were encouraged to create videos to illustrate what they consider their personal ultimate eye candy and then enter them on the site to win a high-definition television. The campaign was non-branded, explains Mark Adams, Verizon’s director of New Jersey marketing, since the communications firm wanted to keep the answer to the question a secret until the contest ended to escalate consumer buzz and campaign interaction.
Verizon worked with Winning Strategies Public Relations to conceive and execute the campaign. “Viral marketing engages the viewer because it is referred to them by someone they trust, thus imbuing the campaign with … personal resonance,” says Penny Paul, Verizon’s account supervisor at Winning Strategies. Conducted during a six-week period last winter, the promotion generated more than 2,000 opt-in registrants, 3 million media impressions and more than 7 million online ad impressions.
This week, Verizon’s Mark Adams discusses the details of the ground-breaking promotion for Verizon.
Target Marketing: What led you to use viral marketing?
Mark Adams: The first thing was that Verizon is not perceived as an entertainment company right now, but yet we’re getting into the entertainment business with Fios TV. So, when we started thinking about ways to start buzz and position ourselves in the entertainment business, we decided to go with a viral marketing campaign.
We also were in a situation that, operationally … we wanted to make sure we were keeping up with the demand for Fios TV. So we decided to come up with a “non-branded” campaign, and we latched on to this idea of Ultimate Eye Candy. I remember very succinctly, many years ago, when I switched from cable over to DirecTV, saying “Whoa, this is some eye candy,” and it’s especially true when you see digital television for the first time.