Molson Coors Canada asks what Canadians would do for hockey
October 02, 2013 | Chris Powell | Comments
Last year’s marketing plans around the NHL were thrown into disarray by the lockout, but Molson Coors Canada has a clean sheet of ice to work with for the 2013-14 season.
The brewer kicked off a new hockey-related campaign for its Canadian brand on Wednesday entitled “Anything for hockey,” which demonstrates the extreme lengths Canadians will go for their favourite sport.
Developed by Rethink with media from MEC, the campaign debuted on CBC Television’s Hockey Night in Canada with a game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens. A 30-second spot, “The Hockey Sacrifice,” features a man who lets a family heirloom get put into a wood chipper to score NHL tickets.
The spot ends with a super that reads “tell us what you’d do for hockey,” and invites consumers to share their ideas using the hashtag #anythingforhockey. Chris Blackburn, senior marketing manager for the Canadian brand in Toronto, said future executions would align with the “Anything For Hockey” positioning, although the creative approaches will vary.
The drive to Twitter is part of a concerted effort by Molson Coors to utilize digital and social media channels in a “bigger way” than it has previously, said Blackburn. “The intent is to utilize all of our different social channels to fuel a continuous conversation around our hockey activity as the season progresses,” he said. “You’re going to see a host of different activity within those channels.”
The campaign is aimed at what Blackburn described as “truly avid” hockey fans from legal drinking age to 35, for whom hockey is an obsession. “We’re looking to tap into the mentality that exists around that obsession,” he said.
The “Anything For Hockey” positioning comes on the heels of an active summer for the Canadian brand, which briefly saw the return of its popular “I Am Canadian” positioning, followed by what Blackburn called a “pretty significant” return to music that culminated two weeks ago with the “Live at the Lake” event in Muskoka.
Hockey, though, remains a key platform for beer brands, which is what led to a legal battle between Molson Coors and Labatt over NHL rights two years ago.
“Hockey represents an extremely important pillar of our strategy for the brand,” said Blackburn, who arrived in Canada from the United Kingdom in November, having previously worked with Virgin Media and News International. “It’s a substantial investment we make as a company.”
Molson Coors is also introducing NHL-themed Canadian and Coors Light cans. League cans will be available nationally, while select team cans will be available within a 75-mile radius of their home arena.