Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The new Déjà vu BCE

Two years in the works and Bell’s new branding gets mixed reviews?

Maybe they should spin out Bell Canada?

Bell's new logo goes back to simplicity

David George-Cosh, Financial Post Published: Friday, August 08, 2008

TORONTO -- It took BCE Inc. four marketing agencies and two years of planning to come up with a new logo that may be the simplest among major North American businesses.

Gone are the widely polarizing beavers Frank and Gordon. In their place is the single word "Bell," clad in a plain blue font and a new slogan company executives hope to underscore the changing dynamic within Canada's soon-to-be-privatized largest telecommunication company: "Today just got better."

Wade Oosterman, Bell's chief brand officer and president of Bell Mobility, felt the move to a simpler brand strategy was necessary to pursue after relying on its folksy beavers for far too long.

"[Bell] is an incredible organization with an asset richness that is beyond belief," Mr. Oosterman said. "But I think we've constructed a very powerful language with which to work and is uniquely tailored to the demographic segments that we might want to pursue in any one initiative."

The campaign marks the symbolic shift of Bell following the appointment of George Cope as the company's new chief executive as the completion of its private-equity takeover looms.

Rick Seifeddine, Bell's brand senior vice-president, says the new visual representation of the brand was an attempt to "really clean things up."

Bell is using the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics as a launching pad for the campaign and will be releasing advertising on a variety of multimedia platforms across Canada.

Mr. Oosterman declined to comment on how much the advertising campaign will cost but experts estimate it will be in the tens of millions of dollars.

The campaign was developed by four ad agencies, a large collaboration for the marketing world. Zulu Alpha Kilo, Leo Burnett, Ig2 and Bell's old marketing partner, Cossette Communication Group, teamed up to design the new logo and marketing look for the telecom company.

Marketing experts have already given the new campaign mixed reviews.

"The question is whether this campaign is playing to the strengths of their brand," said Robert Levy, president of Brandspark International, a Toronto-based brand strategy and market research firm. "It will certainly get people talking and it 's a very dramatic change from the folksy beavers."

Another question is whether Bell's new brand can live past its initial launch, said Peter Scott, a branding expert with Toronto-based q30 design inc.

"To some degree, it reflects back to the 1975 brand that was designed by Jean Morin in Quebec with a very simple logo, but unfortunately, it's not a particularly well-rendered version of that," Mr. Scott said.


Financial Post

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

To some degree, it reflects back to the 1975 brand that was designed by Jean Morin in Quebec with a very simple logo

Yeah, looks like someone took the bolding off.

Behind TV fisherman, ad execs do the least amount of work for the most amount of dollars and playtime.