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Client

Verizon Wireless (VZW) operates the nation’s largest 4G LTE network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 98.9 million retail customers, including 93.2 million retail postpaid customers.

Challenge

As cell phones continue to become part of our mobile lifestyle, immediate and constant communication is quickly becoming the norm. Although this always-on communication is harmless in most circumstances, the temptation to read and send text messages while driving can present significant risk to drivers. As a leader in wireless and mobile technology, VZW realized the company has a responsibility to its consumers to raise awareness about the danger and risks associated with texting while driving. It determined that it would focus on communicating to the newest drivers on the road – high school students – as they are the likeliest to encounter the temptation to text while driving. Verizon wanted to create a message that would resonate with its young audience in a fresh and exciting way.

Solution

To bring the campaign to life, Weber Shandwick worked with VZW to bring in Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to champion the campaign. By developing a comparison between seeing the football field and running the right plays to the necessary focus of mind and coordination required to drive safely, the powerful message to young drivers came to life. Weber Shandwick worked with VZW to create a contest that challenged students to earn their schools the most pledges to not text and drive. To promote the contest, Weber Shandwick filmed and produced a short, engaging call-to-action video that featured Russell to help generate more participation. The video went up on VZW’s YouTube channel and was provided to local media. After the pledging period was completed, the winning high school received a visit from Russell who signed autographs and spoke to the students about the importance of maintaining their pledge. This final visit was documented as a second video in the series and showcased the winning school, the inspiring participation of the Seahawks’ quarterback and of course, the contagious excitement around the important issue.

Key Results

With strong expertise in executing integrated campaigns, Weber Shandwick worked with VZW to successfully plan and execute a campaign that spanned the disciplines of video, digital, event and media relations. As a result, participation in the campaign was excellent. The winning high school alone collected over 600 pledges and inspired school spirit.

The videos produced by Weber Shandwick gained local traction quickly, reaching over 5,000 views shortly after the campaign began. Below is a list of highlight media outlets that published over 60 stories on the campaign.

  • Evening Magazine
  • KEPR-CBS
  • KING-NBC
  • KIRO-TV
  • KISS-FM Seattle
  • KOMO News
  • KONG-TV
  • Northwest Cable News
  • Q13 FOX
  • Seahawks.com
  • Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Seattle Public Schools
  • The Roosevelt News
  • The Seattle Times
  • Puget Sound Business Journal
  • West Seattle Herald
  • GeekWire
  • MyNorthwest.com
  • Northwest Sports Tonight

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