Verizon’s “Dead Zone” Campaign…Any Good?

April 14, 2009

One of my roommates, mentioned last night that he “hates [these] commercials.”

Not being in the marketing/branding/communications/whatever the hell you want to call it-industry,  I know Tommy doesn’t scrutinize branding efforts like I do.  So, the fact that we disagreed wasn’t entirely surprising, but it did make me question the difference between people in the industry and those of the general public and what consider to be “good.”  Obviously, Tommy’s opinion is far more important than mine (for the same reason people in the marketing world are not supposed to participate in focus groups and/or interviews), but I wonder, who’s missing something here? Me or him?

For me, “Dead Zone” is good.  It’s effective, because it works as another great extender of Verizon’s primary brand-differentiator, “The Network.”  As much as the “You’re good!” guy annoys me, he is probably one of the most recognizable faces in advertising and he and his “posse” are part of Verizon’s essence.  They symbolize reliability, signal-strength and speed, and overall customer care.  Every time I see or hear him, I am reminded of “The Network” and those UNIQUE characteristics.

Even though the “Dead Zone” spots are a little corny, they reinforce the brand’s positioning and are undeniably distinct, memorable and consistent.  Consistency is huge.  You recognize the music and the mood it creates and, even with the ones you haven’t seen, you can anticipate exactly what the happy Verizon customer will say in the end…”I have the Verizon Network”…so HA!

I think my Tommy, like most people of the general public, tend to judge commercials on their entertainment value without taking into account the cores messages they are actually taking away from them.  Tommy was annoyed by the ridiculousness of the spots and the repetition of them–he had ceased to be entertained.  “Yeah, yeah , yeah, I get it, Verizon has a great network, but show me something new…I AM watching TV.  Entertain me!”  While I sympathizes with the desire for commercial breaks to be on par with the entertainment value of, say, The Office, I don’t think he could deny that Verizon’s positioning HAD been seared into his mind.

Entertainment value in commercials, is often given priority by people in the ad industry, but, in my opinion, this is only a “nice to have,” not a necessity.  Having a strong, relevant, recognizable, CONSISTENT brand message is what really sets your brand apart.  More brands need to work on this, and worry less about how funny or titillating their work is.  It would end up being far more effective.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: