"In an age when most of the content we consume has been recorded or written long ago, live broadcasting needs to find a way to remain relevant. This project highlights the benefits of a live experience and, in an interesting way, leverages the fact that people use their mobiles while watching TV." —juror Sophie Henry
"A smart, on-brand app execution that tells the story of Verizon’s live video service." —juror Scott Prindle
Overview: Verizon wanted to introduce a new app feature that allows people to broadcast live video to Facebook; instead of posting pictures and videos Facebook friends can simultaneously see content live as it's being captured. To promote the new capability, the creative team turned to America's most famous live show, Saturday Night Live, on the biggest night of the year—the season finale. Throughout the show the app rang, inviting people to see what was happening backstage, live on their mobile device; for the first-time ever, fans got to see behind-the-scenes antics, wardrobe changes, rehearsals, practice skits and an exclusive live performance by Mick Jagger and The Foo Fighters at the afterparty.
• In order to watch the live footage, viewers had to download the app and "like" Verizon Wireless or Saturday Night Live on Facebook.
• The product placement resulted in a 500 percent increase in app downloads.
• Mashable called the campaign "the most significant product placement since the first iPad arrived on Modern Family."
Comments by Benjamin Vendramin and Jesse Potack:
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "This was the first time that Saturday Night Live gave its audience a virtual backstage pass. So, although the idea of creating exclusive content really excited us, trying to keep up with the fast-paced, unpredictable nature of a live show was not easy. With all the craziness that happens behind the scenes, we had to be ready for anything."
Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? "Leading up to the big night, we ran multiple tests to see how well the app would work inside 30 Rockefeller Center. Unfortunately, we discovered 30 Rock wasn't wired with 4G LTE—which could best handle the speed and bandwidth of broadcasting a live event. So, to ensure our audience got the ultimate user experience, Verizon rewired the building."