Major Canadian Brands Launch New Looks

My guess is there will be lots of Monday-morning quarterbacking about three big marketing events this weekend:

  • Bell pushed their “talking beavers” branding campaign featuring Frank and Gordon into high gear.
  • The Globe and Mail rolled out a new version of their website featuring a very blog-like approach.
  • Global Television introduced their re-branding during the Superbowl.

We’ll most likely have analysis on the first two shortly but wanted to give you folks a chance for early reactions. What do you think of the new Bell, Globe & Mail, and Global campaigns? Any thoughts on the wisdom of tying these things so closely to the Superbowl when loads of deep-pocketed American brands are trying to get the attention of the press and public?

Bell’s new mascots — two talking beavers named Frank and Gordon — have an eponymous website — 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.

Frank. Or is that Gordon?

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:

Jimmy: “Dad, those beavers are funny. Can we go to their website to expand our brand experience interactively?”

Dad: “Well Jimmy, what do you say we get on the ol’ interweb and Google some beavers.” (Okay I might have just found the second problem.)

Jimmy: “No Dad, the commercial had their address at the end.”

Dad: “What was it, Jimmy?”

Jimmy: “Uh, well it was the names of the beavers — Gordon and Frank. Yeah, it was”

Dad: “Okay, let’s go to”.

See the problem? It’s, not And Bell didn’t think to register the alternate. What would Gordon say about this clear case of favoritism? So, what do you get when you go to you may ask? Why (after DNS updates), you get the very page you are now reading.

Originally published at on February 6, 2006.