The joy of the NHL Center Ice free preview does come with Canadian feeds of hockey games, but the true excitement comes from seeing cool Canadian TV ads.
These commercials ran during NHL games during the first week of the MLB season (yes, we're a little behind on this).
While food ads dominated our best of list, we start out with a funny idea: stunt people for everyday activities. In the commercial from the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors, we need stunt people to do ordinary things because of back pain. But since more Albertans are seeing chiropractors, there is less of a need for stunt people to perform everyday duties.
Kraft Dinner is so iconic that selling Kraft Dinner can't be that easy. A talking horse in a field encouraging people to rediscover fun by eating macaroni. Sure why not.
The commercial is more entertaining than any U.S. version for the product.
The KFC Big Boss means business, which is why they use the Twisted Sister song from back in the 1980s. The sandwich is like a Big Mac, except with chicken. What? KFC has a chicken sandwich … with bread?
The commercial is rather lame, perhaps lamer than the sandwich. Cheese goes with beef but not always chicken. Burger King in the U.S. has a similar sandwich — Chicken Big King — but the KFC Big Boss is literally the Big Mac sandwich down to the smallest detail, but with chicken.
The idea of resisting authority to eat a lame chicken sandwich from a large organization is too ironic for words.
Boston Pizza is a casual dining place (which I still have not tried), and their ads are always amusing. The latest showed how good a brother and sister could be, knowing that would get a kids meal at Boston Pizza, complete with a build your own sundae.
That might make me behave better as an adult.
McDonald's Canada is good at advertising items that can't be found in the States. The boss in the ad is obsessed with steak and notices a McD's billboard for new items featuring steak on the menu. The Steak N Egg Bagel for breakfast and the Steak N Caesar Signature McWrap with bacon and Parmesan for lunch and dinner.
The boss points out to his assistant that he needs to track everything about steak yet misses this billboard outside the office.
We can debate about whether the assistant should count McDonald's in steak trends, the ad worked in telling us McDonald's is "obsessed" with steak.
The A&W guy is back, touting how they have the best burgers in Canada. Instead of his location being vague, we do see him near the Ottawa River.
This plays on the previous campaign about the sourcing of the beef that goes into A&W burgers. Though I don't speak highly of restaurant burgers in Canada, I still can't imagine they are the best burgers in Canada.
While I have not been to Newfoundland and Labrador, I do love their tourism ads. We saw an ad about being lost in conversation with so many dialects. Beautiful imagery for what seems like a mysterious place, and not just because they are 30 minutes ahead of the other Maritime provinces.
The 2015 election feels like a long way away, but that hasn't stopped the Conservative Party from running anti-Justin Trudeau ads. Trudeau is the Liberal Party leader, and is not even the official opposition leader (that would be Thomas Mulcair of the NDP). The ads are similar: Trudeau will say one sentence out of context and then we see an image of Trudeau seemingly about ready to take off his shirt.
As someone who writes about politics, the ad series feels more of a need to rile up the base than to convince independent voters. They're not as bad as American attack ads, but they also come up really short on content.
I can now find Aero candy bars in the States in international aisles in grocery stores, but they are prominent in Canada. The mother ends up with tossled hair after eating an Aero bar, much to the surprise of her daughter. The play is how Aero candy bars make you feel young. Then again, kids can run off excess sugar easier than adults.
Tim Hortons, which just celebrated its 50th anniversary, now has a crispy chicken sandwich. You walk into a Tim Hortons and you see mostly donuts, just not in the ads.
Molson had a nice commercial about the extremes of what Canadians will do for hockey. The Molson campaign makes us shudder to think that Budweiser sponsors Coach's Corner.
video credits: Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors // Kraft Canada
photo credit: KFC Canada