Verizon Puts It 'All Together Now' for Customers

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Verizon Communications began a multichannel campaign last week for its new Veriations All service, which bundles all the company's telecommunications services in one bill.


Direct marketing advertisements across television, print, radio, bill inserts and mail stress those savings and conveniences. In-store merchandising will support. The effort broke last week in New York and Massachusetts, with a rollout set for next month in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


A recent in-house study showed that 79 percent of consumers identified one-stop shopping and a single bill as the most important feature of a telecommunications package.


Veriations All addresses that issue while also ensuring that customers of Verizon's local service, for example, don't use another carrier's wireless or long-distance plan.


Verizon claims Veriations All is bigger than MCI's Neighborhood plan and more unlimited than AT&T's Unlimited service. Verizon says consumers can save one-third off their regular price by bundling rather than buying services individually. The annual savings for long distance, wireless and DSL comes to $250 and can cross $800 when local services are included, the New York company said.


Still, Verizon must overcome sticker shock among some consumers when all their calling charges are rolled into one bill.


"It's a pretty high-ticket proposition to put all these things together, so we have to overcome that sort of high-ticket barrier," said Pat McGuire, executive creative director at DraftWorldwide New York, the agency on the account. "Because if you get everything you can, it can add up to a sizable monthly fee."


For example, the bundled package costs $144.89 in downstate New York and $137.89 in upstate New York, with savings respectively of 32.71 percent and 30.24 percent. Bundled prices include Verizon's Local Package Plus with unlimited toll and value-added services, long-distance 300 Plus, America's Choice 300 wireless and DSL.


The television portion will begin on major channels with a 30-second spot announcing the new plan. Two 60-second spots will walk viewers through the premise. Verizon would not reveal spending on any of the efforts.


One 60-second spot shows a montage of people from different walks of life coming together. They all sing the Beatles's "All Together Now," which also will be featured on two 60-second radio spots. Other TV and radio spots will feature pitches by actor and Verizon spokesman James Earl Jones.


Ads in both mediums urge consumers to call a number tagged on DRTV spots and repeated multiple times on radio.


Direct mail to existing Verizon customers will complement that push. One mailer is an invitation to sign up for the package and again is tied to the "All Together Now" theme. Another piece is the control package that shows how it pays to sign up for Veriations All.


Four million mailers will go to consumers in New York and Massachusetts until the campaign ends in October. Verizon did not say how many bill inserts would drop.


Print ads in local newspapers also will mention a phone number to call.


Marketing across all channels will strive to convince consumers that a holistic approach to telecom services is better: the sum is better than its parts.


"I think the challenge is that you've got to get them to start thinking that their telecommunications company can provide for everything," said Nancy Grebey, executive vice president and group account director at DraftWorldwide New York.


Verizon is one of the leading telecom marketers in the United States. It has 30.3 million Verizon Wireless customers and 135.1 million landline connections. It is also the world's largest directory publisher. Revenue last year was $67 billion.


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