The 2016 midseason NHL Center Ice free preview came too late and got off to a rough start. But we still got quite a few cool Canadian ads in the preview.
This ad from the BCAA (think AAA but for British Columbia) was a nice sweet simple ad. Conveying benefits visually is not an easy task. Saving money is even harder to portray. Having money fly out of a bouquet when the woman sneezes was a cool visual method to showcase both elements.
The beauty of Canadian TV ads is that they aren't obnoxious; they are often nice even when selling a product or service.
A&W Canada is always touting the quality of its meat in terms of what it doesn't have. In this case, A&W Canada has bacon made from "pork raised without the use of antibiotics."
Having a fast food place care about the quality of its food still sounds odd to the ear, but could break a close tie in deciding where to eat.
The added twist in this ad is that the commercial is set in Vernon, BC with that city being the first to try the new bacon. Nice way to personalize the ad.
This ad is pretty horrible but worth mentioning since this is a pro-pipeline ad without saying the word "pipeline." ICBA.ca (Independent Contractors and Businesses Association) wants to build things, a noble cause. Clearly, the organization feels like the concern over pipelines is not justified, but phrase it in awkward angry terms such as "Our projects are being held hostage by a loud few with too much free time and very few facts."
The imagery of protesters yelling at a pipeline worker is meant to be infuriating, though the protesters concern is about the companies that might hire the worker, not the actual worker. The ad feels like having an argument and saying the same thing over and over, but louder, and not acknowledging there is an other side.
Guess not every Canadian ad is free of being obnoxious.
McDonald's Canada has a Mighty Angus burger where people on the D Ranch from Longview, Alberta are asked to "certify mighty" the burgers: "lots of flavour" and a woman who is happy Canadian beef is used.
Similar to the A&W ad, the idea is to be proud of what you are eating, even in fast food. Using Canadian beef is logical, especially with the low loonie, but maybe every place doesn't use Canadian beef. Americans are good at bragging about their food; you are getting a bit of that in these Canadian ads.
Some other tidbits of note:
— Wendy's Canada promoting the freshness of its Single burger, though some of the language is rather unusual. What is even more surprising is that there are 2 different versions running in Canada with some intriguing subtle differences.
This ad is what the chain has posted online, but the ad shown in some of the NHL games was even better. The commercial has the tagline "a bun that tastes like it was made in a boulangerie, which sounds way more delicious than a bakery" as opposed to a "bakery style bun" in the other ad. The bun is exactly the same, but the language is more flowing in one version. I'd rather eat the first bun. The idea of using the French word "boulangerie" for bakery would never be heard south of the 49th parallel, but in Canada, you can do so.
The ad talks about "produce prepared fresh by hand every day" in the boulangerie version but leaves out "fresh" in the other version. Either way, the phrase is pretty useless. You don't eat a fast food burger for the quality of the produce.
— Tim Hortons latest RRRoll Up the Rim to Win contest ended up with a modern twist. A woman in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador posted a picture of her winning cup on Facebook. Someone spotted the code in the picture and went online to claim her prize before she could. Tim Hortons ended up giving her a $100 gift card. The "new rule" is claim the prize, then brag about it on social media.
— Swiss Chalet touting its ribs and rotisserie beef but using a rarely used food description that can cause North Americans to salivate: "all you can eat fries" though for a limited time. In a separate deal, you could get a pair of quarter-chicken dinners for $14.99.
We have found in the Rogers takeover that there are fewer "Canadian" commercials in the hockey telecasts. That plagued the Rogers local versions but the CBC games used to have the most intriguing ads.
One dreadful looking film that got a ton of ad space on the Rogers telecasts was "Gods of Egypt." The movie looks awful yet the ad campaign was aggressive. The movie is not Canadian, which isn't the surprising part. True, Rogers can't turn down money, but it cheapens the ad breaks.
Boston Pizza had a strange campaign with a general manager that you've shown in a dozen U.S. ads; their commercials are usually a lot more fun.
Rogers promoted its phone products and service on its telecasts; Bell did the same for its TSN broadcasts. U.S. carriers don't mix in with cable TV; in Canada, this is a dominant theme.
videos credit: BCAA/A&W Canada/ICBA/McDonald's Canada