Hockey sells for Zero and Blue

Hockey’s back and the fans – and the brands – are feeling the excitement. Take Coca-Cola Zero. In an afternoon event yesterday, the brand-new Coke with zero calories hosted the World’s Largest Air Hockey Tournament in Toronto’s Dundas Square. On the guest list were Toronto Maple Leaf alumni Wendel Clark, Nick Kypreos and Darryl Sittler. Also on hand were world air hockey pros Danny Hynes (ranked number one in the world) and Andrew Yevish. The air hockey puck dropped and in the match between Clark and Hynes, it was a clear win for the air hockey champ against the former Leaf. Torontonians got in on the action too, with up to 500 people in attendance, watching and playing air hockey and sipping the new beverage.

So why pitch a decidedly male-skewed sport like hockey with a brand that’s zero calories? Ironically, Coca-Cola Zero is aimed at young males. ‘Our research shows that males wanted the same Coke taste but with no calories. So we came up with a formula to fill that need,’ said Andrea Young, group brand manager. ‘[Hockey] is the perfect tie-in because of its passion point. Men love hockey and it’s a perfect fit for our demo.’

The launch of the new Coca-Cola Zero will be supported by O-O-H and TV executions as well as sampling at various NHL games and at colleges and universities across Canada. Cossette in Toronto, with Maverick handling PR, did the ad campaign and media buys.

In yet another hockey-tied promo, Labatt Blue is releasing a special edition Hockey’s Back 15-pack case. The specially marked cases will be outfitted in their own hockey jerseys to herald the game’s return and will be available as of Oct. 3 in beer stores across Ontario. The promo was created by Toronto agency Grip, with print and TV buys managed by M2 Universal.