Stupid-er - The Intrepid

Thursday, August 14, 2008


On Friday August 8, 2008 something fantastic happened. Bell finally retired the spokescritters Frank and Gordon. The beavers Frank and Gordon, voiced respectively by Norm MacDonald and Ken Campbell, premiered in 2006 during the Turin Winter Olympics.

While occasionally spokescritters are endearing, Frank and Gordon were anything but. The only thing worse than these ads was the sad feeling that this was the only work that famed comedian Norm MacDonald could get. In their farewell address in the Toronto Star Frank and Gordon stated: “It’s been a blast.” However, “Nature is calling, and we have been invited back to the forest to become teachers for a whole new generation of spokescritters.” Frank and Gordon even provide an email address so their loyal friends can wish them adieu.

Although the thought of more Bell spokescritters is horrific, Bell’s new ad campaign proves that there are things much worse than annoying 3D animals. Taking a page from the highly successful Obay ads from Ontario Colleges that blanketed Toronto half-a-year-ago, Bell posted similar ads. Before the Olympics began, Toronto residents could see thousands of ads with mysterious and seemingly random blue lines with the letters “er” scattered about.

After the Olympics began, Bell revealed that it was behind the ads and dozens of phrases appeared across Toronto sporting Bell’s new logo. “Let the cheers begin.” “Today just got better.” “Apple Eater.” (The last ad is in reference to the Samsung Instinct, a device similar to the iPhone.)

It seems that things just got lamer. Not only is this campaign occasionally grammatically flawed, it's downright annoying and at times nonsensical. One of the television spots Bell had been playing repeatedly is particularly grating. In the ad, a man begins to converse with the cowboy in the movie he is watching. The TV also seems to be imbedded in the “l” of the Bell logo. Despite the fact that I have watched this commercial a dozen times I am not actually sure what happens. As every time the ad comes on, I tune out.

Bell’s new campaign has received mixed reviews from marketing experts. Only time will tell if this advertising campaign continues past the Olympics, but it seems that Bell just spent a lot of money on a lamer duck.


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