TIM-BR Mart airs puck challenge on TimbrTube

The home improvement retail chain's sponsorship of the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships is encouraging rural communities to get in on the online voting action with a viral marketing campaign.

Alberta-headquartered hardware chain store TIM-BR Mart is a rural brand, so it made sense to sponsor the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships which has strong support across Canada’s rural communities. But a viral marketing campaign has extended its brand awareness, explains Phil Otto, president and CEO of Nova Scotia-based Revolve, the ad agency that negotiated the sponsorship.

TIM-BR Mart launched TimbrTube.ca in August, seeding humorous ‘Hockey Code’ videos to promote a contest in which minor hockey teams are encouraged to upload videos that show their spirit for a chance to win a trip to the championships, held Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2010 in Saskatoon. The media buy was limited to 30-second ads on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada in the Maritimes he says, but the contest was promoted through Hockey Canada’s connections as they sent posters to all of their rinks across Canada, sent an email promo through their database of coaches and parents and league officials, and Facebook groups for hockey moms and dads were alerted to the contest as well.

‘It was a little slow getting traction because it really wasn’t going to go anywhere until the teams organized in the middle of October,’ Otto told MiC. But since then more than 20 videos have been uploaded (with another week to go before the contest closes), and have garnered about 100,000 views as family and friends go online to vote for their favourite.

‘It’s the people coming on and voting that we’re creating brand awareness with and that was really the overall objective,’ Otto said.