Vonage Uses Crazy Street Person To Advance The Cause of Generosity

Vonage isn’t your father’s mobile phone carrier. To prove it, the brand has enlisted a new Chief Generosity Officer, and taken a page from Geico’s caveman in the process.

This is JWT’s first work for the brand. What do you think? Will the above philosopher of the people help educate mobile phone users about the “archaic ways” of other carriers?

Brand Channel spoke to Barbara Goodstein, Vonage’s CMO, about the spot. Goodstein calls the character “campaignable and relatable” and “combining the mind of a professor and the tech-savvy look of an engineer. He’s exactly what we were hoping he would be in terms of attracting attention and being interesting and someone people would want to talk about.”

Okay, so he’s not a caveman wannabe or a street person. Vonage’s Chief Generosity Officer “has the mind of a professor and the look of an engineer.” And look, he’s wearing a tie!

It’s hard to say for sure if Vonage is making fun of the Chief Generosity Officer idea here, or embracing it. I am inclined to think it’s all a joke — the production lends itself to this argument. However, the concept of a more generous mobile provider is no laughing matter.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.