Verizon has used its Super Bowl ads the last few years to honor first responders. Last year’s ad, narrated by Harrison Ford, talked about all the things 5G can’t do, like replace the courage it takes to run into a burning building or the sacrifice it takes to become a law enforcement officer. In 2019, Verizon reunited Los Angeles Chargers then-head coach Anthony Lynn with the first responders he credits with saving his life.
Verizon’s entire campaign surrounding the Super Bowl is meant to highlight how 5G can benefit the fan experience both in the stadium and at home.
With 2020 ushering in new virtual experiences thanks to the pandemic, Verizon partnered with Fortnite to create a virtual 5G Stadium in the online video game. In the stadium, fans can interact with their favorite NFL players and pro-gamers.
Part of Verizon's campaign will support small businesses so they can achieve long-term survival and includes a benefit concert immediately following the Super Bowl. Performers include Alicia Keys, Eric Church, H.E.R, Brittany Howard, Luke Bryan, Brandi Carlisle and Jazmine Sullivan.
McKechnie points to the need to help the small businesses in Tampa, the host city of Super Bowl LV, which won’t be able to benefit from tourism around the Big Game the way they would have been able to before the pandemic.
“The broad messaging strategy is around finding new ways to bring people together. That’s what everyone is yearning for at a time where they can’t travel or see family and friends,” McKechnie says.
Find out how humor, inclusion and lockdowns played a role in how this year’s Super Bowl ads were created at Ad Age In-Depth: Super Bowl on Feb. 2. RSVP here.