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The Verizon Story

How Verizon Reimagined an Archival Program To Create a Record-Setting Digital Storytelling Trove

Verizon, the largest wireless carrier in the U.S., was approaching two major coinciding milestone moments in its history: a CEO change and the company’s 20th anniversary. Eager to capitalize on these shifts, Verizon set out to establish a record of its story to be used for years to come.

Verizon needed the right content to tell its story well enough to: 

  1. Celebrate the milestone
  2. Inspire and make future Verizon storytellers out of new hires
  3. Affirm how Verizon’s deep commitment to its purpose enabled it to become and remain an industry leader

The obstacle Verizon faced was that its brand stories—drawn from a multitude of legacy companies with rich histories of their own—were dispersed throughout the organization without a central repository. Valuable historical materials were spread across various regional offices, former legacy headquarters and a disjointed housing system.

Verizon worked with History Factory to collect these known assets, arrange and preserve them, and use them to tell its story in an informative, inspiring way.

Verizon’s Archives by the Numbers

Our first order of business was clear. We needed to assess what existed in order for Verizon to be able to comprehensively communicate its history. We set out to gather materials and artifacts that represented the totality of Verizon’s history.

Working with Verizon’s records managers, we set up guidelines to determine what should be kept. In conjunction with these efforts, Verizon solicited content submissions through a grassroots outreach program. We collected, arranged and described everything that made it into our hands. And, well—we’ll let the numbers do the talking. 

  • 865 linear feet of physical records (more than two football fields)
  • 36,000 catalog records
  • 6,185 digitized assets 
  • More than a dozen legacy companies represented
  • A dedicated internal Slack channel to share archival updates and interesting finds, with more than 200 members and counting

We knew that Verizon had what it needed to tell its story. In parallel, we began working with Verizon on an impactful delivery method for that story.

Getting Results: How The Verizon Story Wowed

Net wins so far:

  • Assets and research from the Verizon Archives formed the foundation of Verizon’s MMS experience “9/12: The Untold Story of Reconnecting New York,” produced by Verizon’s in-house agency. The work won Gold at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the Clio Awards, the One Show, and the International ANDY Awards, and was also awarded a coveted D&AD Yellow Pencil.
  • The Verizon Story won a Gold Stevie® Award for Branded Campaign of the Year in 2023.

To read the rest of the case study, featuring award-winning exhibit and digital work, click here.