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The NHL Does It Again

Posted: June 4th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

About a month ago, I went through some of my favorite NHL commercials and posted them here. Well, we’re into the Stanley Cup finals this year, and the NHL just released a new one. I think it’s on par with any of the ones that I posted before. Here it is:


What makes it powerful?

Well, to start… it’s powerful. How do you describe the feeling of doing something so huge? You can’t. That stands out to me, because so many marketers are focused on what they’re trying to say that they don’t often consider the importance of what’s not said.

The players in this commercial come from teams that span the last quarter century. Some of them played together, some of them didn’t. Some of them had retired before some of them had even finished elementary school. But they’ve all won the Cup. They’ve all experienced something that neither you nor I will ever experience. And they’ve all had the same reaction.

We’re not talking about winning the French Open, we’re not talking about winning the World Series. We’re talking about winning the hardest trophy in sports. Why is it hard? Because you have to win 16 games. Because it’s 8 weeks of physical play, every other night, with little rest between series. Because players often can’t walk by the end, but they summon the strength for late-game heroics when it’s all on the line. Because guys like Duncan Keith lost 7 teeth when he took a slapshot in the mouth, but stayed on to finish the game. Because a guy like Ian Laperriere blocked a shot with his face that took 90 stitches to sew up — the brain contusion that showed up didn’t help matters — in the first round and returned a month and a half later to finish his season. He’s playing tonight. Why do I mention all of this? Because the players in the commercial don’t. Because that’s what it takes to win the Cup, and because nobody who went through it could adequately explain what it’s like to someone who hasn’t.

I’m at about 350 words here in this post, but I’m telling you why I like this commercial. I can’t tell you what it’s like to win the Cup. But I’m guessing I couldn’t, even if I tried.

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