You know the Verizon “Can you hear me now?” guy? Of course you do. Verizon has been pouring branding equity into the lil fella for years. You can’t leverage a character across a big company like that without developing a special “style guide” Verizon developed to govern how his likeness is used in various marketing campaigns. It’s quite hilarious, and a former company employee sent it to us to share with you.
Verizon Wireless “Test Man” Usage Guidelines
Consumers and current customers should view Test Man as the embodiment of a Verizon Wireless employee whose sole purpose is to test our network. As Verizon Wireless employees, we know we have the best network in the Nation. He represents our relentless pursuit of making sure that we continue to make it even better. He embodies the true spirit and personality of our company in that Verizon Wireless employees are relentless, obsessive and committed to meeting our customers needs. We are particularly relentless when it comes to making sure our network is the best that it can be. It’s important to remember that Test Man embodies our brand, “We never stop working for you”, but he does not replace it. When he appears live in a TV commercial, Event or Personal Appearance the following are the parameters to follow:
• He should always appear in approved “uniform” which is reflective of his environment. Approved uniforms to date consist of the following:
– Grey jacket w/embroidered logo, gray pants, black glasses, black shoes
– Khaki green hip waders w/ embroidered logo on front flap
– Dark gray hooded parka w/embroidered patch on right breast
– Blue work shirt w/sleeves rolled up, white t-shirt underneath
• Test Man should always be in character. The only line he says is “Can you hear me now? Good!” This enables him to appear completely focused on what he is doing.
• His sole purpose is to test our network. In so doing, he takes a step, or a few steps, and then says the line “Can you hear me now? Good!” He should say “Good!” in a variety of different ways to maintain interest. Occasionally he may put more emphasis on “Good!” That emphasis strengthens the thought that he has gotten a good connection.
• The Test Man character is owned by Verizon Wireless. As a representative of our Network testing and our brand, he can never be associated with or be used to promote anything other than Verizon Wireless. He cannot represent an Indirect agent, or even a local business where we are having an event.
• He line should always be used in its entirety. No partial line and no use of “Can you hear me now?” without “Good!” to follow.
• “Can you hear me now? Good!” can only be used to represent Test Man and his testing of our Network. It cannot be associated with any other activity.
• He should appear focused on what he is doing and relentless in his mission to test our network.
• At live events, he should not be interviewed by the press or have conversations with customers or other attendees at the event. The focus should remain on his character as a representation of our Best Network strategy, rather than on the person hired to portray the Test Man.
• He should always be in the context of a location or situation, and should never appear without a background or sense of where he is in testing the network. However, because he is so focused on the job, he occasionally is oblivious as to what is going on around him within the situation he is placed.
• Locations and situations should be varied when possible, including interior and exterior scenes. He should not appear in any location where you have not confirmed coverage. A location that is remote in nature (i.e. a desert) needs to be approved by HQ legal council before use. Also, Test Man should appear in geography that doesn’t necessarily represents your Area in order to give further credibility to the fact that he tests our network Nationwide.
• Test Man will come across folks from various ethnicities in order to evoke VZWs sense of and respect for diversity.
• In order to retain the equity we’ve built in the “V” sign, some of the people Test Man comes across will give him the “V” sign. He does not have to give the “V” sign back unless it feels natural to him. However, he must acknowledge them so that he does not appear to be aloof or rude. Remember, Test Man is focused but needs to portray a likeable character.
Some additional guidelines to follow:
Test man is:
25-35 years old
The embodiment of Verizon Wireless employees
Relentless in his mission
Every day guy
A bit quirky
A little obsessive and compulsive
Appealing to all ethnicities
Test Man is not:
Examples of Events that do not adhere to usage guidelines and will not be
• Look-alike contests
• Marching in parades
• “Meet and greet” with customers
• Any activity where he is not testing the network (i.e. sitting in a hot tub)