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Ad Post: The NHL on Versus February 24, 2008

Posted by Amy in advertising, sports.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Okay, so I spend tremendous amounts of time complaining about the NHL being on the former Outdoor Life Network, what kind of coverage they receive, their continued stubbornness in not groveling at the feet of the ESPN sports gods & begging to be given that coveted 4-7 am timeslot on ESPNews. But I do like their commercials this year. Here’s the latest:

The NHL on Versus :30 spot
Agency: Unsure — Young & Rubicam is the AOR for the NHL, but I believe they were responsible for the “Is this the year?” spots, which I didn’t like as much. May just be Versus’s in-house, or they may have their own agency. Any info would be appreciated, I’d be curious who did this series.

Some of the spots in this campaign were beautifully shot. The Danny Briere one from very early in the season (before he took that shiny new $52 million contract & promptly went out & dropped on a -22 rating) was especially exquisite. That grainy, raw black & white photography seems to help tell the story. I also really loved the Mark Recchi one from before he was placed on waivers. “They’ll have to pry the stick from my cold, dead hands.” How very appropriate, since he’s managed to make his 500-goal-scoring self useful in Atlanta since his dismissal from Pittsburgh.

You know, I would love to link to all of these very cool ads, but they are somehow NOT ONLINE ANYWHERE OMG HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE, NHL??? Do you not WANT to be relevent?

…Sorry. I didn’t mean to blog in capital letters. Anyway, I like the new spot for Alex Ovechkin’s quest for 60. I even like the little subconscious dig at the “No Goal,” as Brett Hull’s name appears inside the crease. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink.

It’s interesting that Versus took this approach, which is artistic & interesting to watch, but probably not as effective as the humorous campaign the league did last year. It is, however, still miles better than the ridiculous post-lockout warrior campaign, which was a series of NHL commercials that failed to feature any NHL players. Seriously, sometimes I wonder why they’ve managed to keep me as a fan.


1. Glynis Richardson - April 19, 2008

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Middle East Studies Program

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