The Verizon Guy
Tuesday/June/30 2009 Filed in: TV Commercials
The Nameless Faces of Madison Avenue
If you live in or near Chicago and we mention The Empire Carpet Guy, you'll know exactly who we mean. In fact, you're probably humming the 588-Two-Three-Hundred phone number jingle in your head right now.
The Empire Carpet Guy dressed in his coveralls and horn-rimmed glasses is described by the Empire Carpet Company as "part blue collar superhero and part pure entertainment."
In real life, he's Lynn Hauldren, the ad agency copywriter who created the Empire Carpet Guy character and stepped in to play the role when auditions didn't turn up a better alternative. That was 32 years ago and he's still cranking them out.
By the way, Lynn also wrote and recorded the now famous jingle and before that was a World War II hero on the Indo-China Burma Road.
Guys, like the Empire Carpet Guy, are an important part of the marketing mix these days. We don't know their names but they are instantly recognizable as The (Fill-in-the-Blank) Guy.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Like some Mad Men progeny of The Empire Carpet Guy, the bespeckled Verizon Guy, dutifully dressed with coveralls, is large on the national stage these days. After humble beginnings, he now commands an army of Verizon technicians as they storm dead zones on the remote cellular frontiers.
The Verizon Guy is Paul Marcarelli, of North Haven, CT. He's an actor, a director, a screenwriter and, according to Xcpus.com, a T-Mobile user because of Verizon coverage issues.
Seeing as he's been doing Verizon commercials since at least 2002, he might be more appropriately called The Rich-from-Residuals Guy. And he apparently has been a big hit for Verizon. During the first two years of the campaign, the company reported a gain in market share and a reduction in customer turnover.
But competition is tough in the TV Commercial Guy racket.
LiveCrunch.com: Dress Like a Mac Guy
When it comes to tech-ad spokespersons, GeekSugar.com is ga-ga over the Mac Guy. In a Spring 2009 poll, almost half of the participants named him as their fave. The PC Guy was a distant second, followed by Verizon's Paul.
Bringing up the rear was The AlTel Wireless Guy and -- a blast from the past -- The Dell Dude!
But Apocalypzia gives Paul Marcarelli special credit. He created The Verizon Guy persona with precious little dialogue. In fact, after starting out with "Can you hear me now?" his lines are now often cut to "You're good!"
Still, he's been able to evolve the character from tech-geek to geek-chic.
Yes, Paul. We hear you now.