Verizon Wireless – How Sweet the Sound

Category: African-American
Brand/Client: Verizon Wireless
Primary Agency: Erwin-Penland
Media Agency: Zenith
Contributing Agencies: Marketing Werks


Nationally, Verizon Wireless is the #2 wireless carrier, and continues to gain market share steadily. Nevertheless, there are consumer segments and geographic markets where the brand underperforms and significantly trails key competitors including AT&T, Sprint or regional brands. One of the most important underdeveloped consumer groups is African-Americans, and this in turn has contributed to underdevelopment in geographic markets where A-As represent a relatively high proportion of the population.

It has not been for lack of trying, either. Verizon Wireless is the single largest advertised brand in the country, with an annual budget well over $1 billion and major advertising presence in virtually every consumer media channel. A significant portion of national and local retail advertising expenditures target African-Americans, but the brand's usual advertising and promotional tactics had not gained enough traction among this audience. The brand sought new ways to connect with them.