[Updated with Verizon’s response, below.] Verizon has been carpeting the New York area with FiOS TV ads, in sorties against Time Warner Cable and Cablevision, so they’ve kind of been in my face recently. (See FiOS: History Lesson.)
In one sitcom-y new spot, the "NYC apartment ad," a cable guy bumps into a FiOS installer in a Manhattan building. (You can download the ad here.)
Cable guy says: “FiOS guy. What have you got today?”
FiOS guy: “Bunch of installations — 25 Greenwich, 10 East 23rd, 43 Chambers. You?“
Cable guy: “Cancellations, mostly.”
FiOS guy: “Where?”
Cable guy: [Pauses] “25 Greenwich, 10 East 23rd, 43 Chambers.”
Flicker of empathy passes over the Verizon tech’s face, and he starts to mumble "sorry" before the cable guy cuts him off.
Tagline: “Move over cable. Verizon FiOS is now available in New York City.”
Now just for fun, I checked FiOS TV availability for those three addresses using the validation form on the Verizon site.
For the first two addresses mentioned in the ad — 25 Greenwich St. NY NY 10004 and 10 East 23rd NY NY 10010 – the Verizon site says FiOS TV isn’t currently available. FiOS TV is apparently available at 43 Chambers, but service cannot be ordered online, according to the site.
What gives? Is the Verizon address tool out of date? Is the NYC apartment spot not supposed to be literal?
Here’s the explanation from Verizon spokeswoman Heather Wilner: "We tried to use fictitious addresses in FiOS-capable areas — we didn’t want to use a real customer or potential customer in our advertising. That being said, the point of the commercial isn’t the actual addresses, but the fact that people are switching from cable to FiOS because our service is better and now available in NYC."