Hey Bell Canada, can we talk?

Because there’s nothing like ‘cause marketing’ to reveal the true extent of that unique form of intellectual paralysis, the bureaucratic rigor mortis generally only found in ‘very large corporations’. Like Bell.

Take this for example.

It feels as if it’s been wrung from one of those ghastly brainstorming sessions where the Corporate Social Responsibility gang brings in all the short straw losers from each of the company’s panoply of marketing ‘partners’ (’fraid there’s no budget for this guys, but we’ll bring donuts) for a head banging session. From which torturous process will be birthed this year’s beneficiary of Bell’s philanthropic bounty and the accompanying theme. You know how those go.

‘Kay guys, it’s that time of year. Gonna be tough to beat last year’s “Stump up for Para Olympians” program. But that’s why we’re paid the mediocre bucks right? And remember – there are no bad ideas.

How ‘bout mental health – it’s pretty crazy right now?

That’s such a downer. Do we really want depressives in our franchise? I mean ewww…

Tammy-y-y? Are you crying?

Bozo and Bimbo smiling like their haemorrhoids are acting up, the cool, cold, lifeless design, the too cute by half “Let’s Talk” rubric, the 5¢ a tweet/LD call/text/FB share, the toolkit(?). Sorry but it all seems about as sincere as an automated apology from one of your impenetrable voice mail systems.

Your motives may well be genuinely altruistic in “…supporting mental health”. But the clammy hands of nervous marketing people are all too much in evidence, the nagging demands to show the ROI and ‘measurable impacts’ all too transparent. You might as well put a special button right on the site: Live sales updates Watch our sales go mental on mental health awareness day. Now that would be transparent.

In almost certain contradistinction to the internal corporate Kool Aid, your being a lugubrious corporate behemoth, a telco, a former monopoly/current member of a none too popular oligopolistic cabal, your appearing to be anti-competitive whenever the opportunity arises, your providing one of the highest priced services of its kind anywhere in the world, all this and more means that the world beyond your elevator doors is predisposed to think the worst of you. To impugn your motives. To look for the catch in the mousetype (let’s face it you’re the undisputed masters in that department). What can I say? It’s a cynical old world.

I’m sure you’re all lovely people, but as a corporate beast it’s hard to imagine a drop of warm blood runs through those icy commercial veins. When it comes to passion, or compassion, or indeed to anything beyond creating the next wheeze to lock your customers to lifetime contracts – in fact when it comes to being human – it’s probably a good idea to outsource the whole damn thing.