Rogers or Bell. The battle for the couch.

couchCompetitors’ attacking each other in their advertising isn’t anything new. Coke and Pepsi, Apple and PC, and Burger King and McDonald’s have been at each other, on and off, for what seems like forever. However, what happens when two competitors basically run the exact same campaign? That’s what has been going on in the telecommunications industry in Canada. Rogers and Bell have been sharing blows and, well, no one seems to be able to tell the difference.

Rogers launched this ad below, saying that their home phone is just as good as Bell but for a percentage of the price. The concept shows a couch, half in red, representing Rogers, and half in blue, representing Bell. The headline reads: Simply better by comparison. Compare Rogers Home Phone and see how much you save.

They don’t mention Bell by name, only the use of the colour blue. It isn’t a direct  shot at Bell, but we all understand who they’re referring to.

Not long after, Bell countered with the following ad. Their ad shows a much longer couch, with the majority of it being blue and only the tail end in red. Their headline reads: Get more than Rogers for less than Rogers. Not only do they use the same concept as the Rogers campaign but they come out and mention Rogers by name.


Both companies have since launched full campaigns based on their couches. Rogers has a television spot and the Home Phone Challenge microsite extending the concept that you save more on the red side of the couch. Meanwhile Bell has been running print ads and messaging on their web site, comparing Rogers pricing and how much more you can save with Bell services.

The problem that neither company seems to realize is that their ads look so much the same that they’re confusing everybody. Until I did research for this blog, I had no idea which ad was for which company. I would see a blue and red couch on a busboard around the city and would be confused as to whether it was for Bell or Rogers.

They’re promoting each other, and the concept is identical so it basically looks like one campaign rather than for two different competitors.

So I will throw the question out to anyone reading this, who do you think wins this one? Because in my opinion, they both lose.

– danvertising



9 Responses to Rogers or Bell. The battle for the couch.

  1. Sophia says:

    To me, it just seems like a bunch of overgrown boys arguing on a giant playground of money over who is bigger and better.

    The ad campaign was better when it was just in Rogers’ court and it was more suggestive. You knew they were talking about Bell but they didn’t have to say it. When Bell retaliated they should have just left it with the simply imagery of the longer couch that was 75% Bell blue with no copy besides their logo. I think they bold image on the white would have stood out more and been made more of an impact.

    I agree that they both lose, Bell looses points on just stealing the idea, and not making it more cheeky. Rogers looses points based on the fact they stooped to Bell’s level and just started promoting the competition once the war began, as well they are not following brand guidelines on the above ad, but that is just my personal knowledge that makes me not like it:)

  2. danvertising says:

    Yea the original Rogers ad was more suggestive. It was obvious, but they didn’t need to smack you in the head with it.

    The Bell response certainly does seem pretty childish.

    What’s funny is that they both have a “compare our prices to the competition” section on their web site. The Bell web site has the Bell price cheaper, the Rogers site has the Rogers price cheaper… Which means that they both have a ton of hidden fees or complicated pricing that isn’t being promoted.

    Both lose credibility points on this too.

    Thanks for the post 🙂

  3. Mattd says:

    I agree with you and Sophia. I hate the original and the idea. Most people at a bus stop wouldn’t care or even get it. Bell should of just ignored it and came out with something impressive. This kinda of ads especially the ‘detergent comparison’ ads make me cringe.


  4. Doug Ralph says:

    Not a lot of leg room, when you can’t stand for either of them.

    The thing I like about both these ads is that they are simple and talk about what consumers need to hear. No sub stories involving beavers, or ‘the perfect’ group of friends, which are fun to watch, but don’t do a great job selling the services.

    The problem with these ads is they talk about two different things. By Bell retaliating the way they did, they admitted that their phone service is more expensive, but their satellite service (something Rogers doesn’t even offer) is cheaper. Seeing how the Rogers ad came first, and called out Bell, and all they could do is steal their idea and switch the subject, then Rogers wins for sure.

    Although, I think the real winner in this could be a third, less known company, that totally calls out Bell and Rogers, but does so in a fun way. Picture a really nice living room with a trendy recliner, and some sort of headline that says “who would ever buy a red and blue couch?/ Red and Blue is so last century” or a picture of the blue and red couch out on the curb with a headline like “time for an upgrade?’.

    A company like Distributel, who already attack Rogers and Bell:

    could do this in a classy way, and come out the creative winner. All the while gaining no market share at all, because let’s be honest, it’s a monopoly, and as annoying as Bell and Rogers are, who actually has something with another company?

  5. danvertising says:

    Great post Doug. I would actually love to see an ad like that by a third-party company wondering why the hell you would ever buy a red or blue couch.

    You’re right about it being a monopoly. There are tons of other phone/mobile service providers like Telus, etc that could get in on this war as well. However Telus doesn’t have the massive cable/satellite/internet services to offer that Rogers and Bell do.

    Bell’s marketing has been a little lost lately. They’ve ‘re-branded’ themselves three times in the past few years. Almost like they’re throwing something at the wall and hoping it sticks.

    Thank God for no more beavers though, right?

  6. […] even using the same red/blue couch metaphor in their […]

  7. Dean says:

    Hi everyone great job on this blog Doug. I myself am interested in companies competing. And yes i did my research too and Bell is alot more better than Rogers. The price is cheaper, better service and overall wellness. This on going competing rampage can be childish but Rogers had no reason to make that couch. So im proud of Bell for fighting back. Besides i have been with both companies with home phone and i find that with Rogers the phone does not work time-to-time and while im with Bell, the the service is great and my phone line is always working. When i was with Rogers i asked my friends if it was only me with the problem but they all say thay have it too. Since its something you can’t get used to, i sent Rogers a letter telling them that ive had it with there cheap service and im switching to Bell. Now Rogers keep sending me letters saying to switch back to them. So now me and my friends are all at Bell and never have a problem. Lastly, Bell should bring back the beavers… they were hilarious!


  8. Dirk Burkeen says:

    A buddy encoraged me to read this site, brill post, fascinating read… keep up the good work!

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