NEW YORK, NY — Verizon Wireless, the new company formed by the combination of Bell Atlantic Corp.'s (NYSE: BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc's (LSE:VOD; NYSE: VOD) U.S. wireless properties, is today kicking off a new national branding campaign to introduce consumers to the country's newest and largest wireless telecommunications company. Verizon Wireless will have more than 24 million customers, including GTE Wireless customers, following the close of the Bell Atlantic - GTE merger, which is targeted for the second quarter.
The multi-media campaign, created by Bozell New York and tagged "Join In," includes broadcast, print and radio and is targeted at both consumers and businesses. The first of four national network television ads will appear today, followed by print and radio beginning Wednesday.
Verizon Wireless comes from two roots - the Latin "veritas," which means truth, and also connotes certainty and reliability; and "horizon," which signifies the possibilities ahead. Along with the name is a red and black logo design that helps to communicate the feeling.
"The ads introduce our leadership position as the largest wireless carrier in the U.S. At the same time, the ads communicate that size is only a virtue if it gives customers more - more coverage, more choice and better prices," said Debra Carroll, vice president of marketing for Verizon Wireless.
The new ads are designed to break through the clutter and not only deliver on the promise of more, but to serve it up to customers in a way that brings peace and simplicity to a complex wireless world.
The tone of the campaign is confidence - the trait of a market leader - and it uses the voice of James Earl Jones to deliver that confidence. The tone of the campaign is also inclusive. Everyday people are depicted throughout all the multimedia elements, and the campaign will invite you to "Join In" to be part of this great, new wireless movement.
There is a mnemonic device being used that creatively reflects the brand - peace and simplicity; and is also the first letter of the company's name - Verizon Wireless. The device is a peace sign, and it's the thread throughout the campaign
Bozell New York, which has handled the Bell Atlantic Mobile advertising account for five years, was tapped for this branding assignment.
"We have always been proud to steward the Bell Atlantic Mobile brand, and we could not be more pleased to have been entrusted with the launch campaign for this exciting new telecommunications company," said Tom Bernardin, president of Bozell New York.
In separate news releases today, Verizon Wireless also announced the following:
- A planned investment of $3 billion on Verizon Wireless' new nationwide wireless network in 2000, the largest to date of any wireless carrier;
- The introduction of new, nationwide flat-rate SingleRate pricing plans for consumers and businesses, as well as a series of wireless data-related initiatives;
- New appointments to Verizon Wireless leadership and an overview of the senior management team.
About Bozell New York
Bozell New York is an $800-million agency with a roster of blue chip clients, which in addition to Bell Atlantic Mobile and Verizon Wireless includes The Andrew Jergens Company, Bank of America, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dairy Management Inc., Datek Online, Eyeglasses.com, The Islands of the Bahamas, Lorillard's Youth Smoking Prevention Program, Lycos, MassMutual Financial Group, The Milk Processor Education Program (MilkPEP), The New York Times, and Unisys. Bozell New York is the lead agency of Bozell Group, a top 20 consolidated U.S. agency with billings of $1.5 billion. Bozell Group is a unit of True North Communications Inc. (NYSE: TNO), a top global advertising and communications holding company.
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with over 16 million wireless voice and data customers and nearly 4 million paging customers. The new coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Bell Atlantic Corp.(NYSE:BEL) and Vodafone AirTouch Plc (LSE:VOD; NYSE:VOD). The new company includes the assets from Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, PrimeCo Personal Communications and AirTouch Paging. Verizon Wireless will be further strengthened by the addition of the U.S. wireless assets of GTE Corp. (NYSE:GTE) when it completes its merger with Bell Atlantic. When the merger is complete, the new company will have a footprint covering nearly 90% of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. Verizon Wireless, headquartered in New York City and Bedminster, NJ, is 30,000 employees strong.