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Verizon’s Super Bowl advertising will focus on, what else, 5G

January 17, 2020, 5:00 PM UTC

Verizon’s marketing strategy for the Super Bowl will revolve around two of the carrier’s favored advertising themes from last year: first responders and 5G.

The largest wireless carrier said on Friday that its TV advertising during the remaining NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl will again take up the cause of promoting first responders like firefighters and EMTs, while adding a plug for its new super-fast 5G technology. In one commercial, for example, the carrier will show firefighters using 5G technology to obtain visual imagery during a smoky fire.

The ads come as Verizon and rivals AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint are still in the early stages of deploying 5G across their networks at a cost of tens of billions of dollars. Verizon has 5G available only in parts of 31 cities and only for customers who have purchased a 5G compatible phone. But the marketing push sets the stage for the fast expansion of the 5G network, which Verizon says will have nationwide coverage by the end of the year.

Any Verizon customers attending the Super Bowl who have bought a 5G phone should be able to connect. The Miami stadium hosting the game is one of 13 original NFL venues that Verizon wired for 5G last year (now up to 16). The carrier says it will be enhancing that 5G connectivity for fans in and around the game and network improvements will remain in place after the game.

Fox Sports, which will air the Super Bowl on Feb. 2, said weeks ago that it had sold out all of the ad spots for the game at rates of $5 million or more per 30 second slot.

Last year, Verizon’s Super Bowl ad campaign featured 11 NFL players and one coach whose lives were saved by first responders. In one of the commercials, Carson Tinker of the Jacksonville Jaguars describes how he was severely injured during a tornado in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and was rescued by first responders. The carrier used a similar theme in its 2018 Super Bowl ads, as well.