Verizon hires a teddy bear that Twitters

NEW YORK: Verizon worked with interactive agency Campfire to create a new spokesperson to lend 2.0 credibility to its FiOS marketing push: A teddy bear that Twitters.

NEW YORK: Verizon worked with interactive agency Campfire to create a new spokesperson to lend 2.0 credibility to its FiOS marketing campaign: a teddy bear that Twitters.

The physical teddy has text-to-speech capabilities and will act as the spokesperson for Verizon's DIY online and on-demand TV project show, My Home 2.0, which is found at 2pointhome.com/teddy.

The bear was scheduled to debut on ustream.tv today, where it will speak based on Twitter posts from the FiOS team and other well-known Twitter users. After 10 days, Verizon will auction off the bear for charity on eBay, while the virtual Teddy continues his spokesperson role via a Twitter page on the My Home 2.0 site, reporting from behind the scenes of the show, sending out links, and answering questions.

With the campaign, Verizon is trying to reach out to early adopters, thought leaders familiar with the technology, and families, according to Beth Mulhern, director of regional marketing for Verizon FiOS in Pennsylvania and Delaware. It represents Verizon's effort to surpass traditional marketing tactics.

“Families might not understand FiOS product and what it will do to their lives, but everyone knows what a teddy is,” she said.

Jason Chupick, a PR consultant at Campfire, added, “[We] needed a spokesperson, an ongoing voice that people will listen to because everyone is trying to come up with a novel Twitter campaign.”

Campfire is promoting the bear concept via blogger and mainstream outreach.

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