Not only was the 2013 NHL season shortened, but also our opportunities to get Canadian ads was even shorter. 12 days at the beginning of the season, a week during the opening week of the MLB season, and no end of year wrapup.
Fortunately, the early April netted some new and cool Canadian ads, one in particular that you won't see in the States.
Let's start with the coolest ad. Beer ads in the States parallel the beer in the ads: overrated and unimpressive. The Molson Canadian Wheat ad starts out with what you think are two overblown fake women. But when the beer goes by, their fancy hair and makeup goes away and they become two normal women. Attractive, yes, but more real and prettier without all the help.
Imagine a beer ad that points out that natural beauty is better than fake beauty. Only in Canada.
When I saw the Ashley Madison ad, I got a commercial but had little idea what the product is, except people had their artificial smiles. Not joyful, just big, almost like Joker in Batman.
After a spot of research, I saw why vague was in vogue.
Ashley Madison is a Web site devoted to hooking people up to have affairs. "Making People Smile for Over 10 years" and "Life is short. Have an affair.®" are clues of its business model.
The company has tried to run ads in the States but have been thwarted. Running that commercial during a hockey game on basic cable shows that Canadians are less afraid of the content of commercials.
Hyundai Canada ran a spicier car ad, something you aren't likely to see in the States. The couple play off the lyrics for Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Lights." A much more memorable car ad than you normally see (full disclosure: my day job covers the world of cars).
Americans like the idea of 4 cheeses on a burger, but might make "safer" choices. I'd be curious to see if gouda would make a top 10 list.
KFC is adapting its Big Crunch sandwich to be a Big Crunch Tower. The regular sandwich is a extra crispy breast with lettuce and mayonnaise sauce.
Mayonnaise sauce sounds even less healthy than mayo.
The Big Crunch Tower adds ketchup, cheese, and a hash brown patty. In case you weren't getting even carbohydrates.
Canadian Tire has a cool take on promoting its bike section. Set in suburbia, kids are rolling down the street in a bike "gang" in slow motion. Funny.
From my old days in writing about advertising, there used to be a rule against running ads in a similar vein back-to-back. That rule is long gone, especially in political ads. Rogers Sportsnet Pacific will be making a bit more money this spring with the upcoming British Columbia provincial election.
The pro-teachers ad ran first. While the ad doesn't spell it out, they definitely are tired of the Liberals being in charge and want a NDP government.
The next ad was against Adrian Dix, who is the NDP leader. Again, the ad doesn't say Liberal Party, but you get that impression.
Most of the ads ran during the NHL Center Ice preview. Mostly from the Rogers Sportsnet channels and some from CBC. TSN feeds are few and far between, especially the national feed. There were very few commercials from the Blue Jays feed — typical (unfortunately).
Since NHL Center Ice doesn't carry the first NHL playoff round, local ads are done for the season. We will get a baseball week after the All-Star Game (July), but figure October for the next NHL Center Ice free preview.
photo credit: KFC Canada