Bell and lg2 show how to help those who need to talk

Who: Bell, with lg2 for creative and Media Experts for media.

What: The launch of the telco’s annual “Let’s Talk” awareness and fundraising effort for mental health in Canada, accompanied by a new ad campaign.

When & Where: The campaign launched Jan. 4 and runs through Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 26, with video ads online and on TV. There is also special programming on Bell-owned properties like Etalk, as well the documentaries Maman, pourquoi tu pleures? available on Crave, Canal Vie and, and La santé mentale dans le sport professionnel on Noovo and RDS.

Why: Bell Let’s Talk Day has generated more than $121 million in funding for mental health in Canada since launching in 2011, but mental health and wellness remains a challenge, compounded by two gruelling years of the pandemic.

The basic structure of Bell Let’s Talk Day remains the same, with Bell donating 5 cents for simple actions like sharing the #BellLetsTalk hashtag or watching the official Bell Let’s Talk Day video (last year’s video starred Michael Bublé).

The intent behind the ad campaign this year was to show some of the small ways that people can actually help those struggling with their mental health.

“We all know how hard the last few years have been on all of us,” said Nicolas Dion, partner and creative director at lg2. “And when it comes to mental health, people are still not sure if they are doing the right thing. Truly helping. The campaign illustrates that we are already doing lots just by being there and listening.”

How: The ad campaign focuses on the ways people can support those struggling with mental health challenges when they need to talk. “We wanted to be positive even though it’s a hard subject,” said Dion. “We wanted the spots to encourage people to keep going. Like a collective ‘We’ve got this.'”

The two 30-second ads, “Keep being there,” and “Keep listening,” show a wide range of scenes and settings, with one person who is suffering saying nothing while a friend of family member encourages them with the simple message “I’m listening” or “I’m here.”

“In previous years we’ve sometimes been more prescriptive in our approach, in showing all the ways you can help,” said Dion. “This year we’re showcasing gestures that we all do in our life. Like listening or simply being there.”

New for 2022: Despite its good intentions toward an important public health problem Bell has often been criticized in the past about how it treats its own employees in terms of mental health and wellness.

But Tuesday’s announcement included a new measure specifically to help Bell employees: “I am pleased to announce Bell’s commitment to continued leadership in workplace mental health with unlimited mental health benefit coverage for Bell team members and their eligible family members,” said Mirko Bibic, president and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE, in the release.

David Brown