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Category: Frank & Gordon

Bell Takes Bat and Runs Home – says “Na-na-na-na-boo-boo”

Seems like there’s a battle royale brewing between Bell Canada and Digital Home Canada – one of (if not the)  online resource for those interested in digital entertainment in Canada.

A few weeks ago Digital Home ran a post called New ExpressVu HD Receivers Expected By July that was a bit of a scoop for them. It included detailed information from internal Bell communications.

In a March bulletin, Bell informed its dealers that it would be introducing brand new ‘MPEG4’ receivers in July 2007. Dish Network currently has several HD receivers that can decode MPEG4 for sale in the U.S. including the VIP 211 and the VIP611.
It is our belief the new ExpressVu receivers will be re-branded DISH VIP211 and VIP611 receivers. Digital Home will post further details and pricing information when ExpressVu formally announces the new receivers. In the interim here is a brief overview of the Echostar receivers.

Bell threatened to pull all advertising from the site if owner Hugh Thompson did not remove the article.  Thompson refused saying it was accurate reportage and the next day Bell pulled their ads.

Yesterday, I was contacted by a press relations representative from Bell Canada and was informed that Bell Canada “might” pull its advertising from Digital Home Canada if the article was not removed from the Digital Home site.
The PR representative explained the request came from Pat Button, the Vice President of Marketing at ExpressVu. The representative said Mr. Button had seen the article and demanded it be taken down from the site because it was having a negative impact on dealer sales. The representative also said that it was impossible for Bell to be releasing new HD receivers this year because a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the receivers had not even been issued by ExpressVu.
These comments were in direct contrast with information that I had received from multiple ExpressVu dealers which I shared with Bell and asked them comment on.

What makes this more than another marketing exec getting his hair mussed up by a leaked announcement is the fact that the site in question is an online forum that is primarily driven by reader generated content.  Repeat after me folks – online communities are NOT a good bunch to pick a fight with.


Frank & Gordon Are Dead. Long Live Gordon & Frank

Gordon?  Frank?

We here at One Degree have built a little cottage industry out of following the online adventures of Gordon & Frank – the Bell Beavers.

Amazingly, the saga now continues as Bell makes another mis-step in the online presence of their popular mascots.


Bell Beavers Making Guest Appearances Online

A few weeks ago I got my monthly Aeroplan newsletter and I was surprised to see some familiar but unexpected faces in there…

1 Comment

One Week With Gordon And Frank – So Much To Learn

This whole “Gordon and Frank” thing is offering some really interesting insights into cross-channel marketing.
Not up-to-speed on the saga? Here’s a recap:
# Superbowl Sunday – See Bell Beaver ads tagged with “”: URL, wonder if they registered “”: They didn’t.
# Register the domain.
# Monday February 6th – write an “article for One Degree”: explaining why Bell probably should have bought the alternate domain and point at it.
# Read “the Marketing Magazine article”: _(sub. req.d)_ and realize this is a *huge* campaign that will go well beyond the Olympics.
# Wait for someone at “Bell”: or “Cossette”: to notice.
So, after one week, where were we:
* 6,618 pages served.
* 1,225 people clicked through to the real Bell site.
* 745 people got here by searching with words like Bell, Beavers, Frank, Gordon.
* “Bell Beavers” is the most common search term that gets people here.
* 34 people got here because of Norm MacDonald. A lot of them are angry.
* Then again, some people love the beavers so much they’re looking to buy Frank and Gordon plushies.
* The National Post’s Mark Evans “talks to”: “Frank and Gordon”.
* Still no word from Bell or Cossette.
Things we can learn from this exercise:


Bell’s new mascots – two talking beavers named Frank and Gordon – have an eponymous web site –
I’m glad to see that the folks working on the site heeded One Degree’s recent advice and allow people to drop the "www" and still get to the site.
I also really like that they registered the .com version of the domain but still use the .ca in the ads to make it clear this is a Canadian thing.


Unfortunately they didn’t read an older One Degree post called How To Add Spell-check To Your Domain Names (go read it, I’ll wait). Now there might be some obvious typo domains that they could have registered (and they may have for that matter – I didn’t check them all), but I know they missed a really big and obvious problem with that domain.
Imagine this scenario which is close but not quite what Bell’s marketers imagined happening: