Frank and Gordon, the two animated beavers who first appeared as “spokesanimals” for Bell Canada in a series of tv spots during the Super Bowl, and more recently during the Winter Olympics, are just the latest anthropomorphic characters used in advertising by Canadian telecom companies.
FIDO: Brand began in 1996 with dogs from the outset, under the theme, You are the Master. Most popular ad campaign was ’97-’98 dog and owner look-alikes. Current campaign features mammoth pawprints in the snow and a giant canine, reminiscent of King Kong. Ad agency originating the campaign is Bos of Montreal.
TELUS: Started with a nature campaign in 1997 under the ClearNet wireless brand, which Telus acquired in 2000. A series of animals, insects, flowers and plants have been featured under the theme of The Future is Friendly. Call their animals “spokescritters.” Ad agency that originally developed the campaign is Taxi of Toronto. Current campaign handled by Taxi and DDB of Vancouver.
BELL: First used cartoon beavers Frank and Gordon this year during the Super Bowl. Bell now has a series of ads linked to the Olympics, with a storyline of Bell searching for new spokesanimals. Ad agency that developed the campaign is Cossette of Montreal.
A recent article in the Edmonton Journal discusses this trend in Canadian advertising, and the success of Frank and Gordon.
For its part, Bell is chortling all the way to the bank. The company has gone from zero to 60 in just 21/2 weeks, from a brand that had limited recognition with consumers to the cool guys with Frank and Gordon, now the talk of the water-cooler crowd and beyond.
Jim Little, senior vice-president of marketing and communications for Bell Canada, can hardly contain his glee at the brand recognition that the company has enjoyed since the Frank and Gordon campaign launched at Super Bowl.
“It’s going in a fun direction,” says Little.
“We think it’s time to set aside a national day for Canada’s national animal,” say Frank and Gordon on their website, imploring fellow Canadians to get on the brandwagon and sign a petition.
What do you think? Is Joe Canadian likely to get all patriotic about a beaver?