Friday, July 25th, 2014

His NHL

27

Gary Bettman introduced the new NHL marketing campaign with the advertising slogan “My NHL” in big letters on the screen behind him.

At least he finally got something right.

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Comments

27 Responses to “His NHL”
  1. Dennis Prouse says:

    Have you seen the ad? My God, what’s with the lingerie model putting on the shoulder pads on the player? And a candle in the dressing room? Bizarre. I know this isn’t aimed at old diehard fans like me, but I don’t get it.

  2. Tom Benjamin says:

    I laughed and laughed. I mean, come on. if it was not so bad for the game I’d really be enjoying the fiasco as it unfolds. I like the Jim Belushi ads better. (Mind you, those ads are all obsolete now. None of the things he explained to the novice fan are part of Gary’s game.)

    I’m wondering where the new uniforms now fit into Gary’s NHL. Is that one now quietly shelved?

  3. J.J. says:

    I like the concept – the warrior going to battle kinda feel to it. Though while watching the ad, I half-expected one of the Desperate Housewives to be the one dressing up the player. ;)

  4. James Mirtle says:

    It’s mind-boggling how bad it is.

  5. InsultComicDog says:

    heh.

    Back from a couple of weeks at the New Jersey shore.. weather was perfect, still is.

    Got my first look at the “new” NHL game. So far, I say bring back the “old” NHL game. I’ve never seen so many stoppages for ticky-tack reasons.

  6. Tyler says:

    The video is worth watching, if only to hear a bunch of US advertising guys tell us what hockey is all about. My favourite part is at one point, I’m pretty sure that they used the Chewbacca growl from Star Wars as a sound effect.

    You know what the problem of the people running the NHL is? They don’t like or understand hockey. I’m no advertising guy but it seems to me that there needs to be some sort of tangential relationship between the campaign and the product.

    They would have been better off showing one of the scenes from Slapshot before the game. At least that’d be honest.

  7. beingbobbyorr says:

    I like the concept – the warrior going to battle kinda feel to it.

    This is what galls me the most about the whole lockout (and Gary’s successful attempt to convince the average fan to vilify the ‘greedy’ players): the players were supposed to be warriors when they’re on the ice, but somehow become meek milquetoasts at the negotiating table (just so the fans can have their game back), then turn into warriors again when the puck finally drops? Please.

  8. Dennis Prouse says:

    They would have been better off showing one of the scenes from Slapshot before the game.

    Which one? Like the one with Reg Dunlop in bed with Hanrahan’s wife? :-)

    Like Tom, I also suspect the new form fitting uniforms have been quietly ditched. That fiasco in Kelowna when they had the Olympic Team guys wearing them for a period should have been enough to shame them away. The sad part is they didn’t even last long enough to join Cooperalls, the “V” Canucks uniform, white skates, and Lange skates in the “Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time” Hall of Fame.

  9. Ian D. says:

    This is what galls me the most about the whole lockout (and Gary’s successful attempt to convince the average fan to vilify the ‘greedy’ players): the players were supposed to be warriors when they’re on the ice, but somehow become meek milquetoasts at the negotiating table (just so the fans can have their game back), then turn into warriors again when the puck finally drops? Please.

    Well, I don’t know if you can expect anything else when some sort of labor dispute is part of the context. It’s obviously not in the NHL’s best interests to puff up the players during the lockout, much as it’s no longer in their interest to put them down. It would be the same with any industry which relies on public support.

    Kind of reminds me of the dynamic during an arbitration hearing: the GM’s job is to belittle the player’s role as best he can to downplay his importance to the team. The second the deal is cut, the GM has to work extra-hard to convince the player that he didn’t really mean it, that he is valued, should be loyal to the team, etc.

  10. Roberto says:

    I think the NHL has been sorely lacking in marketing the last 10 years. The other sports are everywhere you look south of the border, while the NHL barely registers. I really don’t care what the ads look like. What I do care is that the ads get seen. Showing them in the rinks is preaching to the converted. They have to air these ads all the time – in primetime, on weekends, etc. They have to spend the $ to bring the awareness up. In that light, ANYTHING they do is better than the next to nothing they’ve been doing up to now.

  11. Tyler says:

    I don’t know, you watch those NFL ads or those MLB ads and they have a common theme-serious fans would recognize the sport being played. I’ve spent a lot of time in dressing rooms, and I can assure that we never had candles, individual dressing rooms or most glaringly, 30 seconds without profanity.

  12. Roberto says:

    I’ve spent a lot of time in dressing rooms, and I can assure that we never had candles, individual dressing rooms or most glaringly, 30 seconds without profanity.
    Not to mention the complete lack of gorgeous personal masseuses helping the players put on their equipment? come to think of it, that is definitely an area lacking with my UBC Duffers squad.

  13. Doug says:

    As has been mentioned, the point is not to get us the hockey diehards into the sport, it’s to get the non-NHL fans into the sport. I think these will do that. They are very cool looking and should at least be memorable.

  14. Tyler says:

    Yeah, until they watch a hockey game and start to wonder where the candles are. It’s an embarassment.

  15. MoneyP says:

    I think what new fans will be able to glean from this is that each player has a scantily-clad female in the locker room who dresses them and tells them when the game’s about to start. Which would be kinda cool.

  16. Tom Benjamin says:

    As has been mentioned, the point is not to get us the hockey diehards into the sport, it’s to get the non-NHL fans into the sport. I think these will do that. They are very cool looking and should at least be memorable.

    “We wanted to get deep inside the soul of the game to reach the rabid fan who is starved for hockey and the casual fan who might have overlooked it,” Thomas C. Cotton, president of Conductor, told the New York Times.

    It’s supposed to be a look deep into the soul of the game to reach the rabid fan.

    It’s just another insult.

    The worst part of it is the fact that there is only one player, like he is going out there as a single combat warrior. Hockey isn’t David vs Goliath with a babe behind David promising rewards if he wins. It is team against team. That’s the soul of the game.

  17. BlackRedGold says:

    You know what the problem of the people running the NHL is? They don’t like or understand hockey.

    It kind of reminds me of the WWE. They’ve hired a bunch of failed sitcom writers that know little about pro wrestling who, along with the boss’s daughter, are writing the shows. The ratings and crowds are way down in the US as a result.

    What both need are a compelling reason to watch the action, not silly skits or gimmicks.

  18. Julian says:

    did the action shots not remind you guys of hollywood movies on hockey where it’s clear the director has never actually seen a game? I mean, the whole thing just came off as so hollywood.

    I suppose to the NHL that’s a good thing, but to me, it’s not really hockey.

  19. Tom Benjamin says:

    I suppose to the NHL that’s a good thing, but to me, it’s not really hockey.

    I don’t think that’s good for the NHL. The marketing campaign should appeal to the new fan, but if it does not reflect hockey to the already fan, there is something wrong with the campaign.

    Either they are selling the product wrong or they have changed the product so much it isn’t hockey.

  20. Julian says:

    Did anyone watch that CBC show Making the Cut last fall? Anyway, they managed to do alot of the ice level shots with cameras held by actual skaters during the games. The results turned out fairly well in the end, i mean, it actually looked like the players were playing hockey, it was recognizable and it was genuine.

    The brief on-ice shots in these commercials looked nothing like that. Like I said, they looked Hollywood, much too fake and choreographed.

    It won’t really matter to the casual fan who can’t tell the difference, and I don’t believe that the NHL is actually going after the “rabid fans” with this campaign, so it doesn’t really make any sorta difference.

    It does bother me though that the guys who did the commericials couldn’t get it right, and managed to make it look pretty fake.

  21. Other Dave says:

    Even if the league did something as outrageously craven and cynical as demarket the league and actually shut down for a full season, in order to line their own pockets at the expense of their lifelong fans, all you guys would still come crawling back to watch it when they reopened for business. So what does the diehard fan’s opinion of the marketing campaign matter?

  22. roddie says:

    but it seems to me that there needs to be some sort of tangential relationship between the campaign and the product.

    Like flying off of a cliff and drinking Mountain Dew? Or like Paris Hilton washing a car and eating a cheeseburger?

    I don’t think that’s good for the NHL. The marketing campaign should appeal to the new fan, but if it does not reflect hockey to the already fan, there is something wrong with the campaign.

    I have to disagree – Hockey (when it’s on TV) reflects itself, and I’ve never had a commercial remind me that I was a fan or that there was a game coming up. I see this more as a movie trailer that doesn’t actually show any actual scenes (ala “White Noise”), and I think it works well as an attention grabbing marketing tool.

    I’m sure the individual teams will continue to have their own local commercials advertising rivalries, upcoming games, etc. with real hockey scenes.

    IMO – These are so obviously not aimed at us, because no commercial is going to change how we, the rabid fan, watches the game.

  23. BRG says:

    but it seems to me that there needs to be some sort of tangential relationship between the campaign and the product.

    Like flying off of a cliff and drinking Mountain Dew? Or like Paris Hilton washing a car and eating a cheeseburger?

    The difference there is that the little fella is trying to peddle hockey to an indifferent American public.

    The American public is already well acquainted with soft drinks and cheeseburgers. Some might say too well acquianted. Those commercials are just trying to make the public aware of their product when they choose to injest crap.

    The American public is probably aware of the NHL, they just never choose to spend their time and money on it.

  24. Ian D. says:

    Just an ad, folks? and its only point is to get your attention. That, it has clearly done, and therefore, by definition, succeeded.

  25. Tom Benjamin says:

    Just an ad, folks? and its only point is to get your attention. That, it has clearly done, and therefore, by definition, succeeded.

    We – the rabid fans – would notice it whether it was good, bad or indifferent. Getting our attention is not the point. The point is to sell.

  26. SacredCow says:

    I think the ad campaign looks great and I think it will capture the attention of non-NHL fans. That’s who they are after, not you and me. We are huge NHL fans, the kind that watch every game, read every article and even create our own blogs about our favorite teams. They’ve got our money and loyalty. They are trying to reach the people that just like sports, or who would like hockey if they ever got turned on to it. This is not for the folks in Canada, but for the folks here in America. If they show these ads in a movie theater, I think it will work. It will capture peoples attention and imagination and they will think – that looks really cool – and maybe next time they are channel surfing and nothing is on they will tune in to an NHL game. Hopefully they like it and the NHL gets a new fan.

    As a hockey fan, your opinion of these ads is irrelevant. You do not need an ad to get you to watch hockey, you will go out of your way to watch it so why would they give a flying puck what you think about their ads? Sure, they care what you think about the game, but not what they are doing to lure in other fans. A hooker does not ask you what you thought about her dress after you have paid her and had sex with her. (So I have heard.)

    If nothing else, these will be memorable and that, at the end of the day, is the point of advertising.

    SacredCow

  27. “As a hockey fan, your opinion of these ads is irrelevant. ”

    “As a hockey fan, your opinion of ______ is irrelevant.” Just fill it in with everything from rules changes to conference names to a team that draws flies in Carolina. This has been the mantra every since Bettman took over, and it continues to be. Turning some Kirk Muller-ish fop into Chow Yun-Fat and calling it hockey is yet another slap in the face of the paying customers. It’s embarrassing.

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