CLIENT OF THE WEEK: Teletext’s Mr Bean sees future - He’s at home selling high tech but as Gary Bean tells Karen Yates, he’s no nerd

Five minutes with Gary Bean and the golden age of technology is laid out before you. A glorious world where apple-cheeked tech-heads eagerly cluster around the family TV set. Mum books the holidays, Sally scours the football scores and Dad checks the weather reports to see whether he should mow the lawn.

Five minutes with Gary Bean and the golden age of technology is

laid out before you. A glorious world where apple-cheeked tech-heads

eagerly cluster around the family TV set. Mum books the holidays, Sally

scours the football scores and Dad checks the weather reports to see

whether he should mow the lawn.



In this world, the possibilities of television-based data services such

as Bean’s Teletext take a quantum leap. High-quality pictures come into

play for the first time, for example, and the system is quick,

interactive and user friendly.



So Bean, the marketing head of Teletext, is anxious to stake his claim

in the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s consumers, which is why he and his

agency, St Luke’s, unveiled a change in direction for their advertising

last week (Campaign, 9 January).



Ditching the old, memorable, text-only ads was not easy, but it had to

be done, according to Bean. Although successful in raising the numbers

of people using Teletext (to 19.4 million people weekly), the time had

come to give the service more personality. Give it more of a face, so

that when the new digital age opens doors for Ceefax - Teletext’s BBC

rival - and a host of other online services, Teletext will already have

a set of values all its own.



Despite being charged with marketing a technical revolution, Bean

insists he’s not an anorak. He has, however, a distinct history in the

rather tricky area of marketing highly technical products to the man in

the street.



This began with the launch of super-premium unleaded petrol for BP,

which Bean joined in 1987, and continued with a stint for Projectlink, a

marketing consultancy which counted Shell and Barclays bank among its

clients.



Teletext, which runs in conjunction with Channel 4 and ITV, was a tiny

blip on the national consciousness when Bean first joined the company as

a marketing manager in 1992, with a marketing budget of pounds 1

million.



Six years later he has three marketing managers and controls a spend

five times as large.



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