Verizon is back with its third Super Bowl ad in as many years, and will once again highlight the vital work done by America's first responders. This year, however, the campaign will include a focus on 5G technology that's expected to change the lives of first responders, football fans and consumers at large.
"We want to celebrate the power of our network by showing how Verizon 5G will change the NFL fan experience, and how it will empower those who serve in the first responders community," Verizon's chief creative officer Andrew McKechnie told Mobile Marketer.
McKechnie says more first responders rely on Verizon connectivity than any other carrier, a statistic that drives the ongoing campaign and larger strategies throughout the company.
"As we're building 5G, we really want to bring a message around the impact it will have in the first responder community. We have some technologies and applications that came out of first responder labs that we really want to showcase," he said.
A series of spots
The push kicked off on Jan. 19 during the AFC and NFC championships with the first spots in the "What 5G Will Do" series. The 30-second ads, "Vital Signs" and "Smoke," demonstrate some of the critical challenges facing EMTs and firefighters, respectively, and how 5G will help them overcome some occupational obstacles. "Smoke" illustrates Quake Technologies' 5G-powered augmented reality (AR) that helps firefighters navigate, while "Vital Signs" shows how 5G can send massive amounts of critical data between ambulances and hospitals.
The campaign continues with Verizon's Super Bowl spot, a 60-second ad that McKechnie describes as "a really nice culmination of the lead-up efforts." While the ad's creative will not be released in advance, he said that it could connect the dots between how first responders use 5G and what that means for consumers.
"The way we've been thinking about a holistic 5G narrative and the transformative impact that we think 5G will have in industries or communities like first responders is making sure we tell a story," McKechnie explained.
"'What does that mean for me as a customer? How is that going to impact my life?' We think we've found a way to connect those two [drives] which we be revealed in the Super Bowl Spot… That's when we start to unpack it for the customer and make sure we're also telling the story of how 5G will change the game to bring more relevancy to the fans."
5G, social good in action
To help tell the story of 5G's transformative power, Verizon will also run a 5G activation around the Super Bowl. Earlier this year, Verizon launched 5G in Miami and at the Hard Rock Stadium where the big game will take place — the first Super Bowl with the technology — as part of a two-year innovation partnership with the NFL.
The immersive consumer experience will include in-stadium wayfinding, AR applications, multiple camera views and a mobile gaming challenge. In addition, Verizon will power a first-of-its-kind in-venue 5G livestream at the Pro Bowl on Jan. 26, promising an immersive experience that aims to transport viewers onto the field and provide new views of the action.
As with past years, Verizon's Super Bowl campaign will include a social good component. This time around, that entails a nationwide call for volunteerism inspired by the dedication first responders show while supporting their communities.
"It's an opportunity as a brand to shine a light on service," McKechnie said. "We've always believed that how we show up at the Super Bowl is an important moment to put a message out there."
But the effort doesn't end when the clock runs out.
"From connecting to that community, we're never one-and-done, or putting something out and disappearing until next year," he said. "This will be a moment to talk to some of the efforts that we have to make sure that we're getting that message out."