Prepare for Visible to be plenty visible over the next week.
First up, while much attention has been paid in the past few days to the unexpectedly good U.S. jobs report for January, the Verizon-owned prepaid D2C wireless service reminds us that lots of people are still losing their jobs.
So Visible today teamed up with nonprofit Empower Work to launch Connection Protection, which will provide three months of free phone service to 2,000 newly laid off workers over the next year.
Connection Protection is part of the launch of a larger overall initiative called Visible Impacts, which on Saturday will find Visible teaming with nonprofit GoodR to give away a week’s worth of groceries to 1,000 families during Super Bowl weekend in Phoenix.
Then, a week from today, which is also the day after Valentine’s Day, Visible -- which boasts of its affordable single-line plans -- will celebrate “Singles Awareness Day” with a social media and influencer campaign.
In an interview edited for length and clarity, Marketing Daily spoke with Cheryl Gresham, Visible’s chief marketing officer, about the three new initiatives.
Marketing Daily: How did Connection Protection come about?
Cheryl Gresham: There’s very low unemployment, but layoffs and job losses are still top of mind for many. The average phone bill is about $144, which is a lot to pay for one line. On top of that, 70% of job applicants are actually using their phone to complete job applications and to submit resumes.
We thought there was a really interesting tie-in where we could come through to help folks that are in between jobs, who may have been impacted by layoffs and budget cuts, to support them with a phone so that they can continue looking for work and cut back their expenses during that important time period.
Marketing Daily: What can you tell us about the larger Visual Impacts platform?
Gresham: There are three pillars: Food, Work and Community.
On the Work side, we’re partnered with Empower Work for Connection Protection and with Step Up programs that help with female empowerment and work.
For Food, we are working with GoodR this Saturday morning in Phoenix to help people in need and bring attention to food insecurity and what can be done to help it. A lot people are still having trouble keeping their pantries stocked. We’re also partnering with U.S. Hunger to help modernize their technology so that they can help serve more people in need.
Community is something we’ve been working on for quite some time, both supporting the LGBTQ+ community, and with a group called Be My Eyes -- a program where people can help blind people do tasks via telephone. The person with sight on one end of the phone and the person who’s limited on the other are able to connect and help one another. Tasks may be as simple as helping a person find things in their pantry for a recipe.
Marketing Daily: We’ve written in the past about Visible targeting singles with its affordable one-line phone plans. Are singles still your target audience?
Gresham: Yes, but also we’re finding that a lot of folks aren’t in single relationship status but have a single line for one reason or another, so we’re really focused on people who have one line, or have a need for a one-line plan.
So many of the ads, promotions and marketing right now for these great price points on phone service have an asterisk with them: You have to have multiple lines to get those prices. The ethos of Visible is for data, talk and text in a one-line plan for a clear price, taxes and fees included.
For singles, we have been airing some advertising around the idea of “You Only Need You.”
So we’ve partnered with influencer and celebrity Benny Drama and created an ad that we’re going to have running around Singles Day, sort of one of those Internet holidays. He’s going to be talking about “Cupid is for all of those people out there who have love and all of that in their lives, but Youpid celebrates you,” whether or not you’re in a relationship.