Wednesday, August 6, 2008

BCE's Frank and Gordon say goodbye

Apart from Frank and Gordon, we still don’t know the identity of the other 2,498 BCE workers terminated by Ontario Teachers’

Goodbye, semi-aquatic rodents

Simon Avery and Jennifer Wells
The Globe and Mail
August 2, 2008

Frank and Gordon are leaving the marketing spotlight and heading back into the Canadian wilderness, as Bell Canada prepares to put a fresh face on its brand next week.

The cheeky, often impertinent beavers have represented the nation's largest phone company in broadcast and print advertising for almost three years. They first appeared in Quebec as Jules et Bertrand in late 2005 and then showed up in the rest of the country as Frank and Gordon at the Torino Winter Olympics.

Bell is unlikely to repeat the friendly animal theme when it launches its new marketing initiative next Friday around the opening of the Beijing Summer Olympics, for which Bell is a sponsor.

The new campaign has been created by Leo Burnett, whose clients include Zellers, Procter & Gamble and Moosehead beer.

Frank and Gordon officially bowed out yesterday with a full page ad in The Globe and Mail.

"I think it was nice and classy," said Jim Little, the former Bell executive who led the launch of the Frank and Gordon brand strategy. "Obviously the world has changed. I think they served a very useful purpose. They clearly had an iconic-type connection with Canadians. ... It's a nice way to end one era and start another one."

The demise of Frank and Gordon was widely expected as part of parent BCE Inc.'s efforts to reinvent Bell as a leaner, more responsive company. "They were very popular, but after nearly three years, it's time to move on," said a Bell spokesman.

Canadians' initial response to the frisky beavers proved lukewarm, said Mr. Little, who is now chief brand and communications officer at Royal Bank of Canada.

"Then we put the heavyweights into it during the Torino Olympics [and] four or five months later the response was instant and positive," he said.

Did he have any concerns about using animals as brand mascots - a ubiquitous strategy in the modern ad landscape? "They weren't animals for us. They were spokespeople dressed up as beavers."


Anonymous said...

BCE has strong quarter..... lays off 2500, suspends dividend? Makes complete sense.....NOT

BCE reports 2008 second quarter results

BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada's largest communications company, today reported results for the second quarter of 2008.

- Accelerated wireless performance - net adds up 32% with best postpaid
gain since Q4 2005 of 111,000
- Third consecutive quarter of fewer year-over-year residential line
- Bell revenues up 1.7% to $3,700 million
- Solid Bell EBITDA growth of 3.6% before unusual items
- Free Cash Flow of $410 million, up 73%; Cash from Operations of
$1,534 million, up 9%

Dr Mike said...

Goodbye Frank , goodbye Gordon.

Hello Raj , hello Gupta.

Why don`t we just move the rest of Bell to India while we are at it.

God , I hate calling tech support.

Dr Mike Popovich

PS---Bell Customer Service--what an "oxymoron"---sheeesh!!