CASSIES Bronze: Bell gets people talking

The telco breaks the taboo around discussing mental health.

BRONZE: Events, Seasonal & Short-Term

Situation Analysis In Canada, one out of every five people will suffer from mental illness during their lifetime. Most of them will suffer in silence because the subject remains taboo. That’s why in 2011, adding to its commitment to donate $50 million to the cause over the next five years, Bell organized a “Let’s Talk” day. It invited Canadians to talk and text about mental illness, and help dispel the stigma. Bell also promised to donate five cents for each sent text message and long distance call made on that day. This was a great success (generating a Canadian one-day record of texts and calls) and Bell decided to renew the effort on Feb. 8, 2012.

Strategy & Insight Consumers are bombarded with requests to give, and don’t have time to shop around for the right cause. So how could Bell stand out? For the majority of people this came down to a simple insight: they want to look good by saying they give, without having to step out of their way to actually do it. In other words, donating had to be effortless.

Execution The campaign used print, TV, OOH, radio, web, Bell retailers, PR, Twitter and Facebook. In addition to last year’s spokesperson (Olympic medalist Clara Hughes) the campaign used two other spokespeople who’ve overcome mental illness – pop singer Stefie Shock and African-Canadian comedian Michel Mpambara. Through their iconic smiles they encouraged Bell customers to take part.

Results The 2012 “Let’s Talk” day resonated overwhelmingly with Canadians, beating the 2011 record. There were 78 million text messages sent and long distance calls made (a 19% increase compared to 2011). This meant that Bell donated an additional $3.9 million to mental health, beating last year’s donation by more than $600,000. Bell is also now perceived as the leader in supporting mental health, ahead of Tim Hortons, Canada Post and RBC.

Cause & Effect The “Let’s Talk” campaign was the single element that could have caused the flurry of messages and calls described in the case.


Client: Bell
SVP of brand: Rick Seifeddine
Director, brand strategy: Élaine Bissonnette
VP, corporate marketing: Loring Phinney
Associate director, brand management: François D’Amour
Agency: Lg2
VP/CDs: Marc Fortin, Claude Auchu
CD: Nicolas Dion
Interactive CDs: Jennifer Varvaresso, Marilou Aubin
Copywriters: Geneviève Langlois, Jonathan Rosman, Andrew Morgan, Jean-François Perreault, Marilou Aubin
ADs: Geneviève Jannelle, Denis Brodeur, Jean-François Clermont
Director, interactive: Alexis Robin
Strategic planner interactive: Rafik Belmesk
VP account services: Samia Chebeir
Supervisor, account services: David Legendre
Interactive supervisor: Alexandre Normand
Coordinator, account services: Jacinthe Meek-Baillot
Electronic production:  Élyse Bleau
Photography: John Londono, Rodéo Production
Director: Jérémie Saindon
Director of photography: Steve Danyluk
Production:  Quatre Zéro Un, Philippe Lalande
Sound: Boogie Studio
Music: L’Oreille
Logo: Serge Côté, lg2boutique
Print production: lg2fabrique
Website: Teehan + Lax
Media: Media Experts


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