Rogers, Bell, and Telus blow their big chance. By being themselves…
My friend Ottawa blogger and media commentator Mark Blevis has put out a couple of smart and incisive critiques of the “Fair for Canada” campaign by Canadian telco mega brands TELUS, Rogers, and Bell. Please do go ahead and read the MarkBlevis.com and Full Duplex posts.
But I think the many, many problems with this PR blitz can be summed up in one picture – brought to you by your three friendly Canadian mega corporations.
Actual screen capture from the Fair for Canada mini-site:
Sorry big Telcos, but the combined ”Bell, Rogers, and TELUS Boards of Directors” writing a letter to Stephen Harper doesn’t qualify as “What Canadians are Saying” to the rest of us, you know, Canadians. Neither do the rest of the links below it – all from media outlets and corporate lobby groups. There is not one individual Canadian quoted.
And I *may* be wrong about this, but that pretty lady in the picture looks more like a member of a Stock Photo Catalogue than like one of the only seven women out of the 39 Directors who signed the letter (three of whom also have the last name “Rogers”).
(A quick aside for TELUS: in this context, it’s probably better not to highlight the fact that two of your Board members have the nicknames “Rusty” and “Dick”. You’re welcome – DenVan.)
Still not convinced? Okay, how about a picture AND a video?
So how about the video they posted showing a few “ordinary Canadians” – who also happen to work for the big three. Again, if you want to tear apart the content, there’s plenty there to dissect – as Techvibes editor Knowlton Thomas did with this quote:
“That’s not real competition,” says Amanda, a call centre trainer for Rogers in Moncton, in the video. She’s speaking of the government allowing a fourth legitimate carrier into the market – you know, to create real competition. Like the other telco employees in the cringe-worthy video, you can practically see the puppet strings tied to her jaw.
And yes, it’s obviously heavily scripted, and these employees are hardly neutral observers.
But here’s what really baffles me: they didn’t post that video to YouTube! That embedded video above is a pirated version of the “official” one on the Fair for Canada site. Why? Because the original is posted in a non-social video player called Wistia (American by the way). No comments. No share button. No easy embeds. No messing around with openness, fair access, or ordinary plebeian social tools.
And of course, no Facebook “Like” button either. Or a Twitter icon – or any social icons at all. And certainly no mention of the issues that really matter to Canadians: prices, decent (non-arrogant) service, and fair competition.
So what do you think? How about rebranding this campaign?