We Are The Rhoads Solve a Creative Challenge with Humanity
If a technology company does their job well you don't notice them. Their products work seamlessly into your life, making your goals easier to achieve and facilitating communication. That's why when Verizon and McCann Erickson teamed up with We Are The Rhoads for their latest campaign for the Verizon Fios system, the focus was not on the product. Instead it was on the lives of their customers. Sarah and Chris Rhoads are experts at showing lived experience, so they just had to bring in the concept of speed (Verizon Fios is, after all, very fast). Conceptually it makes sense, but it was a true creative challenge and one that the Rhoads were up for. “They’re one of our favorite creative teams we’ve ever worked with,” says Sarah about McCann and Verizon. “The idea they presented was fairly conceptual which is always fun, but with lifestyle elements at play.” The concept of speed arrives in many ways throughout the campaign whether it’s a train whizzing by a station, a motorcycle kicking up dust as it races through the frame, or a child heroically swooping in. They found the moments where humanity meets speed.
“Chris and I were really excited about doing something that was different than most lifestyle advertising campaigns,” Sarah explains. “It felt like a fresh perspective and that’s always something that’s really exciting to come across your desk. It’s still in our wheelhouse because we shoot things that are spontaneous and have the moment driven feeling to them, but we also love doing more conceptual driven projects that have that humanity to them. That’s what they really wanted.” It's rare that a brand can blend so easily into their customer’s lives, and the campaign had to show that. That’s why there’s a human touch on every image. Each one is relatable, recognizable. We can see ourselves in these single frame stories, but the Rhoads are also reminding us of what Verizon can do for us. It’s a perfect blend.
There are a few stories that the Rhoads told in this campaign that were more than one frame: three separate, silent, almost mini-films were created and projected in Times Square. They're moving versions of the still ads, bringing extra life to these moments like a fun secret. But the campaign wasn't just shown in New York, it was created there.
They shot the project in and around New York and although it was an action packed shoot, one particular portion of it stood out for them. “We got to bring in a stunt motorcyclist and have him jump off this big stunt bridge,” Sarah says with a laugh. “It was awesome. It’s stuff like that you don’t get to do everyday.” Sometimes we forget about our internet service provider when we’re zipping from one webpage to the next, focusing on the next task or learning more about our world. That’s exactly the way it should be, and that’s why We Are The Rhoads focused on the humanity living at the heart of this campaign.