Scotties (quietly) promotes Tournament of Hearts

Tissue brand celebrates its longtime sponsorship of the curling tournament

A TV spot in which everybody in a grocery store stocked with Scotties products wears noise-cancelling headphones, highlights the company’s longtime sponsorship of curling’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Created by John St., the 30-second spot pokes fun at the screaming that is part of curling. It’s running in English on conventional and specialty networks as part of the campaign for Scotties’ 35th anniversary of sponsorship of the event.

The Scotties Tournament of Hearts – the annual Canadian women’s curling championship – ends this Sunday in Grande Prairie, Alta.

Scotties’ sponsorship of the event is one of the longest of its kind in Canada, says Nancy Marcus, corporate vice-president of marketing at Kruger Products, which makes Scotties facial tissue.

“It’s an opportunity to sponsor women who are our key target. It’s sort of been a legacy and our awareness is exceptionally high,” Marcus says of the brand link with the tournament. Curling audiences across the country “are exceptionally brand loyal.”

Marcus notes there are higher sales of Scotties in smaller cities like Ottawa, St. Catharines, Sudbury and Halifax that support the Scotties Tournament of Hearts with in-store displays and promotional campaigns in the weeks leading up to the event.

She says the campaign is a bit larger this year to mark Scotties’ 35th anniversary of involvement in the tournament.

“It’s slightly unusual for companies to maintain this consistent legacy of sponsorship. You always get a new VP or director of marketing and sponsorship might be what the CEO’s whims are of the day, so to maintain the same sponsorship is really unusual and we are very happy with the sponsorship.”

Marcus does not know why senior management decided to begin its sponsorship of the tournament in 1981, but “I would assume something simple like the sweeping that takes place (in curling)” and its link with cleaning products like paper towels and bathroom tissue.

The campaign is not running in Quebec where support for curling is much lower than in the rest of Canada.

Last year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts was the most-watched ever, with almost 30 million media impressions and 7 million unique Canadian viewers watching some part of the tournament on TSN. TSN is broadcasting 50% more of the tournament this year.

Last year’s Champions event was held on a Sunday night and conflicted with the Oscars, but still managed to get an audience of more than a million people, Marcus notes. Both events are also taking place this Sunday.

Public relations is handled by Strategic Objectives.

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