Celling phones to youth

Agency head: Pierre Delagrave, president
Number of employees: 145
Notable clients: Bell, BMO, Coca-Cola, GM, Government of Canada AOR, Nike
New business wins: Aliant, BC Tourism, Bombardier, Nolitours, Radio-Canada, Solo, Tourisme Montreal
Major losses: none

The goal
It’s an understatement to say that the cellphone business is tough. Launching Bell Canada’s new line of Colour Phones, therefore, had to be unique and noticeable enough to stand out in the cluttered, competitive cellphone arena. Even more of a challenge was working with a limited media budget to effectively reach the target of finicky young adults.

The strategy
With cellphones being many young adults’ lifeline – and fashion accessory – Cossette Media chose to capitalize on this insight by having the media revolve around fashion and colour. They met youth where they are: trendy, upscale retail stores, nightclubs and patios; as well as reaching them in free, urban dailies.

The execution
Cossette completely wrapped phone booths, streetcar interiors and popular bar patios with colour to promote the ‘Colour stands out’ message. They also scouted and negotiated retail stores willing to have parts of their interiors splashed with colour.
A plum deal with daily, youth-target urban newspaper Dose was also hammered out to completely colourize, for one day, every page of its editions in Toronto and Ottawa. Everything – including editorial content – was blanketed with colour, a difficult task because the print colour had to closely match the cell phones and not conflict with any editorial in the paper. Full-page ads were also purchased.
Cossette says the execution was a huge departure for the telco and required a ‘big leap of faith’ that the strategy and tactics would reach their target.

The results
So far, so good. Over 70,000 people have purchased the phone.