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Verizon calls in J-Lo to announce Viva Movil, a phone retailer with a Latino focus

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'I'm kind of the Chief Creative Officer.'


A year or two ago, Verizon would've used its press conference at the CTIA trade show to announce new hardware, a major new consumer-facing service, or both. But this has been a deafeningly quiet show for end users this year, and the trend continued today when — of all people — Jennifer Lopez walked out on stage at the carrier's press conference in Las Vegas this morning. This is an announcement about new brick-and-mortar retail locations.

"We will have dedicated play areas for kids in our stores, we want you to bring your friends and family," Lopez said after being introduced by Verizon COO Marni Walden. She's investing in a chain of Latino-focused stores called Viva Movil, a partnership with third-party retailer Moorehead Communications and distributor Brightstar — which just happens to be the largest Latino-owned business in the United States, Lopez points out. The stores are dead focused on capturing the burgeoning Latino market, and clearly, Verizon thinks a superstar like J-Lo can help zero that in. Around 15 will be open nationwide by year's end in markets like New York, Miami, and LA.

"I'm kind of the Chief Creative Officer," Lopez said in response to an audience question, noting that she's helping to design fonts, store layouts, and a line of accessories. We've certainly heard about celebrity creative directors before.