Bell launches Let’s Talk

The telco is trying to break down the barriers to conversations about mental illness with a new CSR campaign.

Bell launched its new ‘Let’s Talk’ CSR initiative this week with a national media buy and creative featuring six-time Olympic medalist Clara Hughes.

The campaign, which started Monday, is in support of the company’s new ‘Let’s Talk’ initiative to reduce the stigma around mental illness and raise money to support mental health programs. For each text message and long-distance phone call on the Bell network on Feb. 9, the company will donate five cents to programs supporting the cause.

Ads supporting the campaign and leading to the microsite are appearing nationally on TV and radio, in print, on billboards and online, says Loring Phinney, VP, corporate marketing, Bell.

‘The purpose of the campaign is twofold for us,’ he says. ‘We want to build the brand of ‘Let’s Talk’ day, so that day every year we can really reduce the stigma of mental illness. At the same time, as we’re building the brand around the events, we really want people to talk, and we want to break down the barriers.’

Media Experts in Toronto handled the buy, LG2 in Montreal did the creative and the digital work was done by Teehan+Lax in Toronto.

‘Let’s Talk’ will evolve with an increased online and social media presence over the years. For the first year, there are Facebook and Twitter buttons that give visitors the opportunity to share the microsite with friends.

Also at the microsite, visitors are encouraged to join the conversation, ask questions and upload photos of their smiles to add to the gallery as a show of support for ‘Let’s Talk’ day.

‘When you ask people to talk about mental health, you need to actually give them context, so we’re giving people ways to participate, we’re giving them a way to learn more,’ says Phinney. ‘It’s not an easy topic to broach in the lunchroom.’

Hughes got the conversation started by discussing her own two-year bout with depression at a press conference announcing her involvement with the campaign.

‘Let’s Talk’ is part of the company’s five-year, $50 million Bell Mental Health Initiative, which focuses on four pillars: anti-stigma efforts, care and access improvements, research support and new workplace initiatives.