McCann NY Crafts Unbreakable Controller For Gamers With Laggy Internet--Or They Could Just Switch To Verizon Fios


Robert Goldrich
Thursday, Apr. 8, 2021


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In the world of video games, nothing is worse than internet lag. And when gamers lag, they tend to take their frustration out on the first thing that’s closest to them: their controller. Just a quick search of YouTube will turn up hundreds of videos that show gamers throwing, kicking, and stomping on their controllers to soothe their anger. 

Verizon Fios wants to show gamers that the Fios network can be the solution to lag frustrations, and that simply switching to Fios could help them step up their game. So, Verizon Fios is getting their attention in the most gamer way possible: by trolling them--with a controller that’s unbreakable, or at least able to withstand conventional gamer tantrums. 

The campaign from McCann New York gets the Unbreakable Controller into the hands of one of the gaming world’s biggest influencers, Nate Hill of FaZe Clan. Naturally, he’s using it to troll his fellow teammates that don’t have Fios, by imploring them to test its durability through a series of hilarious challenges, like hitting it with a bat, dunking it like a basketball, and throwing it off a balcony. Each test will show that even though the controller is incredibly strong, there’s still no substitute for better internet via Verizon Fios. 

For the campaign, McCann and Fios enlisted the services of product designer Steven Brower of Brower Propulsion Laboratory. He created a bespoke video game controller that can stand up to the frustrations of laggy gamers. Taking inspiration from the diabolical ironclad beetle, the controller was constructed with a durable, aluminum shell and then surrounded by a soft foam that cushions the shell from impact. Its bright orange color was intentionally chosen to reflect the humorous nature of the product and the childish anger gamers show when they lag out. 

But the campaign doesn’t stop with a controller and a troll job. Gamers are also being engaged at some of their most frequented websites like Kotaku, with a deep dive editorial about the Unbreakable Controller, along with high impact digital placements. The campaign even goes beyond the gaming community by partnering with influencers like tech reviewers and content creators. Each one is receiving the controller along with a challenge to put it to the test a unique way and share the results with fans. 

At the end of the day, though, all of this could’ve been avoided if gamers across the country had simply chosen Fios from the get-go. 

This spot showcases the Unbreakable Controller.


Client Verizon Agency McCann New York Thomas Murphy, Sean Bryan, co-chief creative officers, North America; Matthew Curry, EVP, deputy chief creative officer; Christina Reina, SVP, executive creative director; Alex Little, VP, group creative director; Karsten Jurkschat, SVP, group creative director; Rene Delgado, Colby Spear, associate creative directors; Lerthon Theuma, LeAndra Langhorne, copywriters; Joan Heo, Erika Casales, art directors; David Webster, EVP, executive strategy director; Jennifer Peterson, SVP, executive strategy director; Beth Windheuser, sr. strategist; Whitney Alexander, VP, strategy director, social & mobile; Nathy Aviram, chief production officer; John McAdorey, SVP, executive producer; Brian Collins, Laura Kellerman, producers; Jeannette Subero, Amber Briscoe, Mihae Mukaida, sr. innovation producers; Christine Lane, SVP, director of innovation. Production CRAFT Theodore McFail, digital producer; David Lillis, tech lead display ads; Rich Goldstein, executive digital producer; Faiza Islam, sr. QA engineer; Puneet Oberoi, Joseph Goldstein, QA engineers; Jeffery Feder, sr. developer. Editorial No6 Editorial & Finishing Ryan Bukowski, editor; Alyce Muhammad, assistant editor; Charlotte Delon, producer; Laura Molinaro, head of production; Corina Dennison, exec producer; Ed Skupeen, sr. Flame artist; Mark Eyes, finishing producer. Audio Post Sonic Union Brian Goodheart, mix engineer; Nathanael Taylor, producer; Justine Cortale, studio director. Product Development Brower Propulsion Laboratory R&D Steven Brower, founder. Packaging Production Utley’s Inc. Influencer Agency Captiv8. Photography Giant Artists Jessica Petway, photographer. Talent Partner FaZe Clan

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