Verizon Wants to Hear Users’ Broadband Stories

Verizon is making a play for new broadband users by setting up a “digital documentary” experiential site where users can share stories on how a broadband connection enhances their lives. The site, created by R/GA, went live earlier this week, and will be supported by a cross channel ad campaign.

The “Broadband Stories” site, at richerdeeperbroader.com, features user stories, content specific to interest areas, and information on Verizon product offerings. The destination already displays some user-generated content and the company will continually update with more stories and content submitted by users — after they’re filtered for consistency with the brand, said Beth Mulhern, director of interactive marketing for Verizon. Production crews will also conduct additional man-on-the-street video interviews for the site.

In an effort to create a documentary feel, the site shows Web users sharing how broadband changed their lives through text profiles, photos and video. A video interview on the site posted at launch featured the story of music enthusiast “DJHingearo” describing how he started listening to an Internet radio station in the UK, and now hosts a weekly radio show on that station.

“Without broadband, he would never have this audience,” said Richard Marks, account director at R/GA, which handled both the Web site and online campaign.

Broadband Stories started with 13 interest areas where users can post content, but Mulhern said to expect more areas to be introduced.

“Our expectation is that this is something that will continue to evolve,” Mulhern told ClickZ News.

While Verizon said it is hoping to reach the broad 18 to 54 year-old demographic, the campaign is targeted most closely to the 18 to 34 year-old group. The company hopes the ambitious Web site and accompanying campaign will position Verizon as a primary player in the category.

The cross-channel advertising campaign will include a series of rich media banner ads and pre-roll video content. Verizon declined to talk about specific ad units or media placements, but said the online effort would launch Monday.

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