Bell long-distance spots feature athletes’ families

Bell Canada breaks a new tv spot today in support of its Real Plus long-distance discount plan, launched in September.The ad, one of a pool of three new tv spots, features the families and friends of Olympic hopefuls Michael Smith, a...

Bell Canada breaks a new tv spot today in support of its Real Plus long-distance discount plan, launched in September.

The ad, one of a pool of three new tv spots, features the families and friends of Olympic hopefuls Michael Smith, a decathlete, and Ann Montminy, a diver, talking about their use of long distance to keep in touch with the athletes.

Majorie Shield, Bell Canada section manager, advertising, says the idea behind Real Plus is to offer consumers an affordable, easily understood long-distance plan.

To get the point across, the campaign, from Leo Burnett, Toronto, focuses on how families – but not just any families – call long distance.

The lead-off spot, which had its first national broadcast April 10, features the mothers of Kirk McLean, Olaf Kolzig, Wade Flaherty, Trevor Kidd and Chris Osgood, all National Hockey League goaltenders, speaking about what they say to their sons when they call them long distance.

All five men play for teams some distance from home.

Wade Flaherty, for instance, is a Nova Scotian playing in San Jose, Calif.

Shield says goaltenders’ mothers were chosen because if Real Plus meets the needs of a goalie’s mother – a distinct variety of hockey mom – it should meet the needs of anyone else who calls long distance.

The families featured in the third spot, which also broke April 10, are those of the Toronto-based Famous People Players troupe of developmentally challenged performers.

Shield says the three commercials will be broadcast in rotation, but adds Bell Canada has not yet decided how long they will remain on air.