Budweiser Links Pro/Am Hockey In Super Bowl Spot


The Super Bowl isn’t just about football, or even just about professional sportl! Well, not in Canada in 2012 it isn’t. Because Budweiser rolled out a TV spot during Canadian coverage of the NFL showpiece that aimed to give everyday hockey players a taste of life in the pro leagues (and unite it’s professional and amateur ice hockey sponsorships).


The beer brand’s two-minute ad, which showed two teams in Port Credit, Ontario (the Generals and the Amigos) playing a regular game in front of a sell-out crowd (complete with mascots and TV cameras) succeeds because the attention and hype was unbeknown to the amateur players until they actually set foot on the ice.


The set up for the campaign saw a TV crew simply tell the two teams that they were making a straightforward documentary about local league ice hockey. The surprised reaction and spontaneous response of the players to the atmosphere and the star treatment was compelling. The emotions were authentic and genuine. A rare thing for a Super Bowl TVC and a real contrast with the all-consuming professionalism (and ego) of the Super Bowl players!


Budweiser had actually recruited thousands of extras at a $150 day rate to play the cheering fans in the commercial. It then arranged for TV cameras to shoot a recreational league hockey game near Toronto. “We told two Port Credit, Ontario teams that we were shooting a documentary about rec league hockey,” says the intro to the ad. “We lied.”


Developed by Budweiser Canada and its agency Anomaly, the marketers arranged for a flash mob dressed in the teams’ colours (complete with face paint), to flood onto the community rink’s stands to cheer on the amateurs. They were joined by team mascots and professional sports announcers calling the game.


Even the 4-3 overtime result, apparently, was unscripted.


The results of the campaign have been impressive too. The ad went viral in Canada and the US in the week before the big game. In the three days between its 2 February release and its on-air debut during Sunday’s Super Bowl, it had already racked up 500,000 views on YouTube.


Earned media impressions have been high and media coverage has been positive. Yahoo Sports called it “a really cool commercial” and Bostinno.com, an online news site, called it the “Super Bowl commercial of the decade.”


“Seriously, if you don’t feel anything watching that guy sitting on the ice at the end, you’re dead inside,” wrote Jeff Beer writes of canadianBusinesss.com


“Flash mobs, I guess they’re still good for something. Nice work by Anomaly,” said AdWeek’s Tim Nudd




Bridging the gap between the professional and amateur games is one of the real key’s to successful sponsorship activation – one way to build a bridge between star players and park enthusiasts is to offer the amateurs a little taste of what life is like on the professional side of the game.


We’ve seen some innovative examples of this approach in recent months – including Gatorade’s Replay series and Nivea’s Great Football Experiment – but few initiatives of this type have had such success in mainstream advertising (let alone the biggest North American ad platform of them all – the Super Bowl). But this is what Budweiser, the number one selling beer in Canada, has done with this campaign.


The brand has a sponsorship foot in both the amateur and the professional ice hockey camps in Canada.


For example, in October 2011 the King Of Beers became the official sponsor of the Winnipeg Jets (which is it leveraging through an integrated marketing strategy that includes some compelling community-led work).


While in December Budweiser partnered with the Canadian Adult Recreational Hockey Association’s (CARHA Hockey) 2012 World Cup as the title sponsor. This event will take place in Sault Ste. Marie in early March and is the showpiece final of what has become the largest international adult rec hockey tournament in the world. The league boasts more than 2,500 players from 13 countries.


“Budweiser is thrilled to become the title sponsor of the 2012 CARHA Hockey World Cup. Love of hockey runs deep in Canada and we are excited to become a part of the game right where it starts – with rec hockey,” said Ben Seaton, Brand Manager, Budweiser. “For seven days Bud will be part of the action and we’re looking forward to celebrating great hockey moments with players and fans. We want to ensure they enjoy the game as only Bud knows how to deliver.”




http://YouTube Budweiser Canada


Budweiser & Winnipeg Jets Deal



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