Have you seen the TV commercials that have been running since just before the NHL playoffs began?
Their theme is “History will be made” and feature a number of historically important moments in hockey. The footage begins to go backward almost instantly, taking the viewer through the moment in reverse, ending with a question like “What if Bobby didn’t fly?” or “What if there was no greatness?” (in regards to Wayne Gretzky).
The spots are simple and short, two attributes necessary for success in both today’s TV advertising and online world, but there’s something else about them that’s even more intriguing: they’re highly emotional.
Check out this one:
For me, a huge Montreal Canadiens fan, this is shiver-inducing, but it’s also heart-tugging in that it makes you wonder: Yeah, what if Roy had played like a rookie?
Now, before you go shrugging it off, thinking that it doesn’t really matter, consider this: These ads are aimed at die-hard hockey fans - the guys (and girls) who remember (or at least have seen footage of) the epic moments featured in these commercials. And I think it works. It gets fans pumped and primed for the post-season and, more importantly for the NHL, ready to watch and/or buy tickets.
While searching for the Roy clip above, I came across another NHL playoffs commercial which I think also successfully plays to emotion:
It’s interesting because these sorts of ads are not usually used to target men. For evidence of that, just watch a beer commercial or the new Old Spice campaign. Not exactly tear jerkers.