Bell shifts from awareness to action for Let’s Talk 2020

Who: Bell, lg2 and Media Experts.

What: The 2020 “Let’s Talk” campaign to promote mental health, both in Canada and around the world. This year’s theme revolves around turning awareness into action.

When & Where: The campaign officially launched Monday (Jan. 6) and runs through Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 29. This is a fully integrated campaign, with creative running on TV, digital, social, print, radio and outdoor.

Why: 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of Let’s Talk Day, and this year Bell wants people to share stories about taking action to help those living with mental illness. “Canada has come a long way over the last decade in de-stigmatizing mental illness and increasing awareness of how it affects all of us,” said Bell Let’s Talk chair Mary Deacon in a release. “We can build on our progress by focusing on the real-world actions we can all take to support mental health in our communities, schools and workplaces.”

How: Creative includes six new 30-second spots about specific actions people can take, either on their own or with a group/institution, to promote mental health. Each of the six ads—which fall under the themes networks, advocating, support, talking, caring, and driving—shows people helping out both formally and informally, and is connected to an organization providing access to mental health services: Canadian Mental Health Association, Canadian Red Cross, Foundry,, Kids Help Phone, Revivre, St. John Ambulance and Strongest Families Institute.

The ads each end with the voiceover explaining that, “When it comes to mental health, every action counts.”

“At the heart of the campaign is the message that helping is often easier than you think and that even small gestures, some of which you may already be doing, can have a big impact,” said lg2 creative director Nicolas Dion, in a release.

What else beside the ads: Once again, Bell has a long list of well-known spokespeople promoting the cause and sharing their own experiences with mental illness, including: Clara Hughes, Howie Mandel, Marie-Soleil Dion, Michael Landsberg, Michel Mpambara, Stefie Shock, Mary Walsh and Étienne Boulay.

The fundraising: As usual, Bell will donate five cents to mental health programs for basic awareness-raising actions that occur across digital channels: for every tweet using the #BellLetsTalk hashtag, video views on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and each use of the Bell Lets Talk filter on Snapchat.

The numbers: Last year Bell Let’s Talk generated 145,442,699 messages across all platforms, generating more than $7.2 million for mental health. Since launching in 2011, Let’s Talk has led to more than $100 million to the cause, including Bell’s original $50 million anchor donation.

Quote: “I look forward to joining with Canadians and people around the world as we celebrate the 10th annual Bell Let’s Talk Day and talk about the actions big and small we can all take to drive positive change in mental health,” said Bell’s new CEO Mirko Bibic in a release. “2020 promises to be another year of progress in Canadian mental health, the first in a new decade of heightened awareness of the impact of mental illness, and of the opportunities to make a real and enduring difference.”

David Brown