As a long-time client of ours, Verizon has traditionally only done written content with us. When they came to us looking to promote their Verizon Mobile Protect program, we wanted to expand into a new medium — and get fun with it.
As part of their program, Verizon wanted to highlight the program’s no-extra-cost cracked-screen repair, unlimited claims, and same-day delivery and setup on new phones. Advertising on TikTok is not easy, especially for an intangible product like this one, with specific features we had to be sure to highlight — we knew we had to get even more creative and embrace this challenge with humor, while keeping it as organic as possible.
We wanted to blend the very trendy, retro vibes of ’90s infomercials with TikTok's contemporary flair. We aimed to craft a video that felt like a playful nod to the past without taking itself too seriously — think lighthearted, quirky infomercial charm meets TikTok's snappy style. In essence, our approach was all about infusing a bit of nostalgia with a wink, crafting content that felt like a shared inside joke rather than a hard sell. And while a ’90s infomercial is inherently “ad-y”, we wanted to ensure that it still felt organic, to grab viewers’ attention and keep them engaged, all while keeping it “Mashable”: quirky, fun, and informative.
We began with in-depth research into classic infomercials, allowing us to script a humorous parody, and integrate quirky styles we thought would make the viewer stop mid-scroll. Execution focused on recreating the distinct style with grainy filters, black and white footage, and exaggerated movements (think “OH BROTHER!” and “WHOOPS!”). We also included the iconic infomercial host voiceovers, catchy graphics, perfectly timed sound effects, and a very funny wig (we named her Barb).
Challenges arose in adapting the nostalgic tone to a short-form platform and avoiding an overtly salesy approach. Finding inspiration from old infomercials ultimately led us to strike the perfect balance of camp, catchy, and of course, client satisfaction (they loved it, but more about that later).
Another challenge we faced was incorporating Verizon’s required legalese and disclaimers. Putting it in the caption was a no-go, with caption character count limits. Fortunately, the ’90s infomercial seems designed for this sort of thing: instead of finding a way around it, we instead embraced it, leaning into the fast-paced disclaimer and that oh-so-retro text-filled screen, making it the cherry on top of the perfect ’90s spoof.
What sets our work apart is the seamless fusion of two eras, creating a TikTok that's both nostalgic and interactive. Our project uniquely captures the essence of ’90s infomercials while leveraging hyper-relevant TikTok's dynamic nature, making it stand out in the realm of creative content.
One of Verizon’s goals when they first requested a proposal for this was engagement — views, likes, comments and shares. This was one of our best-performing TikToks we’ve produced, resulting in 1.55 million views and nearly 2,300 likes, which is notable on a platform where many viewers scroll right past ads. The TikTok video over-delivered on client expectations, garnering over 1M impressions in Added Value. It also held native appeal to Mashable’s audience, portraying our witty, tongue-in-cheek style we’re known for.