Bell bows two boffo promos

One is a year-long download deal to raise Olympic funds. The other is a contest whose winner will be flown to Russia for the launch of the telco's new satellite.

Funds to support athletes headed to the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics are currently being raised in myriad ways. But Linda Low, Bell Canada’s associate director of communications, says what her company announced on Monday is not only a first in this context, but a unique way of fulfilling the Olympic mandate of celebrating sport and culture.

Low says it all began when Canadian rock performer Suzie McNeil – the last surviving female competitor on Rock Star INXS – approached Bell’s Olympic team and said: ‘I’ve written a song called Believe that’s about the power of dreams, and it feels like it should be connected in some way to the Olympics.’ Bell thought so too, and got Ottawa’s National Arts Centre Orchestra involved.

The result, says Low, is ‘an Olympic-inspired rock-orchestral recording and music video chronicling the journey of Canadian athletes on the road to 2010′ – which is now available online. Every time it’s downloaded to a computer music library, for 99 cents, and whenever someone spends $3.00 for a mobile download or ringtone version, Bell will contribute a portion of the proceeds to Own the Podium 2010 to support athletes.

No advertising money has been budgeted to promote the Believe initiative. Instead, McNeil and various athletes are appearing on television and radio and at various events across the country. As well, Bell’s approximately 40,000 employees, and those of other companies collaborating with Bell in various Olympic projects, are being encouraged via email to download the song and encourage others to do so. Cossette Vancouver contributed creative work to the Believe website as well as PR duties.

Also on Monday, Bell announced that, to celebrate its 10th anniversary as a digital television provider, it is introducing the ‘Nimiq 4 Launch Contest.’ Open to Bell ExpressVu’s 1.8 million digital TV customers, the online initiative offers a grand prize of a trip to St. Petersburg, Russia, next spring to witness the launch of Nimiq 4, the satellite set to take over delivery duties to Bell subscribers.

The contest is being promoted in the September issue of Show/Extra magazine with both a full-page ad and editorial features. As well, thank-you cards featuring the contest are being sent to customers who are marking their tenth year with Bell ExpressVu. The promo and contest are also getting exposure on the company’s dedicated ad channel, in a weekly e-newsletter to customers and in banner ads on Bell websites.

The contest website was designed in-house at Bell, while all creative was done by Cossette Montreal. Montreal- and Toronto-based Spafax Canada handled both the writing and design layouts for all editorial copy.