TIFF 2013: Bell gives back to film fans and celebrity seekers
September 09, 2013 | Alicia Androich | Comments
Bell is all about giving back during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
In an effort to give the public a more inclusive TIFF experience, the communications company – the long-time lead sponsor of the festival – is bringing fans closer to the stars.
For the first time, the company has set up the “Bell Blue Carpet” beside the celebrity arrival area and red carpet at Roy Thomson Hall to take advantage of what Bell director of national sponsorships Dave Rivers says is one of the biggest assets of the festival itself – the celebrities – and, more specifically, their arrival at the David Pecaut Square beside Roy Thomson Hall. Bell wanted to “build around the energy and excitement” of the moments when the stars touch down at the venue, said Rivers.
Bell has erected a structure that Rivers calls “part sculpture, part practical seating” that accommodates roughly 300 people. The celeb-sighting perch is elevated to give fans a good vantage point from which to catch all the incoming action, said Rivers.
It also provides a better visual backdrop for media outlets – including Bell’s own Bell Media properties – as they shoot the celebrities coming through. In past years, said Rivers, “a lot of the time you captured the green field behind George Clooney.”
Rivers said Bell, which increased its spend in the festival this year (he wouldn’t say by how much), worked with TIFF to ensure that the structure was for the general public, and that it is free to use. “It was definitely an objective of the festival and ourselves to give something back to the community that didn’t require the purchase of tickets,” said Rivers. “We wanted to be inclusive and bring people closer to the festival.”
Rivers said Bell approached TIFF’s planning committee early last year about this strategy to start to build excitement around David Pecaut Square and “start to develop it as the festival headquarters between the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Roy Thomson Hall… it was with their support that we are able to do this this year.”
Bell will also be playing free movies on a large screen there each night at about 9 p.m. during the festival.
BCE is working closely with Bell Media, he said, since the latter will be doing a lot of its red carpet interviews in the area. Bell will be tying in the live coverage that Bell Media’s properties are producing during the festival, and showing the content on screens in the square.
The company has also set up product “showcase zones” in the area – as it did last year – so that people can check out Bell products, from its Bell Mobile TV service for smartphones and tablets to its entertainment brands.
The tag Bell is using for this year’s festival is “Bell loves Movies” (using a heart icon in place of the word ‘love’). It appears throughout all of Bell’s creative, and reflects the new focus on Bell using its partnership with TIFF to find ways to offer free movies and experiences to the public.