Great, eh? Well...
As I wrote earlier on Osocio, I have an issue with campaigns like this. Not about the issue, which is important and very close to home. It's the underlying strategy, something I call "Buyral Marketing."
I made up the term to describe the kind of social media campaign in which a major brand attaches itself to a popular cause, creates branded content, and provides an incentive — in the form of a small donation to that cause.
As an adman, I can't deny that the strategy can be extremely successful. My Facebook feed is full of Bell's facts about mental health, shared by good people who want to do something to help. Their ticker is almost at 10 million shares.
But you know what? Most of these people would share campaign material like this anyway. Bell isn't paying people (through a donation) to share facts about mental health. People on social media have shown that they can be motivated to share a feel-good campaign with very little incentive beyond a desire to belong to something good. It's paying them to overlook the fact that they are sharing branded advertising for a for-profit corporation.
Consumers aren't stupid. Many of my friends are fully aware of the ulterior corporate motives involved, and choose to participate anyway. Social media movements like Condescending Corporate Brand Page make it hard to let yourself believe that Bell is in this for anyone but themselves.
But I hope brands engaging in Buyral Marketing are aware that this tactic has its limits. The cynicism will grow, a little, each time consumers are asked to work for a brand's CSR department.
Don't get me wrong. "Let's Talk" is great branding, highlighting the natural association between a telecommunications company and the need for a public conversation about mental health. Perhaps next year Bell will take a higher road, committing those nickels to the cause without requiring shares (or use of their paid products!) to do so, simply because their message is highly sharable on its own merits.