Verizon Shines with a Social Media-Driven Light Show
To celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII and its NFL partnership, Verizon wanted to make a social media impact among football fans, both locally and nationally. Verizon’s key objective was to change its brand perception from just a mobile service provider to a technology innovator. The solution? Host the first ever social media-driven light show, powered exclusively by fan tweets, on the most recognized building in New York City: the Empire State Building.
Verizon initiated daily Twitter conversations encouraging Broncos and Seahawks fans to break down the game’s best matchups… questions like, which team will dominate the passing game, own the running game and, of course, win Super Bowl XLVIII. To determine the “winner” each night an algorithm tracked Twitter conversations that used relevant Super Bowl phrases or the custom hashtag #WhosGonnaWin. The system analyzed each tweet for positive or negative sentiment in order to assess which team had the stronger fan support. Then between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day, Verizon turned the fans’ predictions into a spectacular light show (designed by partner Marc Brickman, a top U.S. lighting designer).
Other elements of the campaign included a microsite, built jointly with McGarryBowen, which displayed the live data throughout the day leading up to the light shows. Verizon also partnered with the NFL to host a live stream of the light show, curated with music, on the NFL’s Super Bowl Travel Guide app, further amplifying the program. NFL stars Drew Brees, Curtis Martin, Marshall Faulk, Barry Sanders and Matt Forte participated in media tours on behalf of the program, which generated p.r. buzz surrounding the campaign. On top of that, Verizon enlisted 10 influencers to boost the social activity.
The engagement strategy allowed fans to leverage their competitive spirits and feel “instant gratification” by simply posting a tweet and seeing their contribution make a huge impact in the most populated city in the U.S. It was a concept that caught on quickly among fans. More than 450,000 tweets included #WhosGonna Win, and it was considered the most successful live Twitter battle in ESPN history. Ninety-nine percent of all social conversation surrounding the campaign was positive and Verizon estimates its visibility on Twitter increased by 5,634 percent during the Super Bowl week, versus two weeks prior.
Overall, Verizon outperformed other brand competition on Twitter, receiving 11.5 million impressions, 13,026 mentions, 8,888 retweets, 684 replies and 1,293 impressions per retweet.
It’s safe to say that during this campaign, fans weren’t just in a New York state of mind; they were in a Verizon state of mind, too. Oh yeah, we said it.