Photograph of a man on the bed in his prison cell

Visiting Hours

Cox Communications



“Visiting Hours” documents a pilot program reimagining visitation in the American prison system, seen through the lens of three inmates. Working with, and in, Fairfax County Detention Center, Cox Communications installed private video booths equipped with high-speed internet and instituted new rules that ensured inmates could speak to loved ones every single day, for free.

The Challenge

Cox’s brand purpose is to help people have more meaningful connections. But for too many of their customers, Cox is just the regional cable and internet provider that they’re stuck with – a utility bill at best – not a brand that shares their values.  To achieve continued success, in a landscape with ever-increasing competition from other telecommunication providers, this had to change.

We needed to demonstrate to people that Cox is not just a number you call when your internet connection is down. It is a brand that you can rely on when human connection is needed.

The Solution

Studies show that when inmates maintain bonds with loved ones, it reduces the odds of them returning to prison after release. Yet, the average inmate receives only two visits while incarcerated. This is due in large part to very limited visiting hours, and the current video call system, which has high fees that are putting families into debt for a service that rarely works. 

To tackle this problem, Cox created “Visiting Hours,” a pilot program that reimagines visitation for inmates. In partnership with the Fairfax County Detention Center located in Virgina, we instituted a new system consisting of private video booths equipped with Cox high speed internet, and new rules that ensure inmates can speak to loved ones every single day, for free.

The Results

Breakthrough and Brand Appeal Points Above Cox’s Average
Positive Brand Sentiment

“Visiting hours” achieved the highest breakthrough and brand appeal scores with +24 points above average Cox norm, and delivered 90% positive brand sentiment compared to just 8% industry-wide.

The ad has influenced positive attitudes towards Cox by emphasizing the importance of real human connections and its innovative products. As a result, Cox has entered the conversation in consumers’ homes in a more relatable and human way.

But bigger than the impact for the brand, “Visiting Hours” has paved a new way forward for rehabilitation in America. With over 400 prisons in the Cox service area, this program has the potential to reach thousands of inmates over the next few years.



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