Visa shares your playoff pain

The credit card co launches a TV and digital campaign for those whose favourite NHL teams didn't quite make the cut.
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Visa wants hockey lovers to know that even if your favourite NHL team is teeing off on the golf green instead of lacing up on the hockey rink this playoff season, Visa is there for you.

That is why the credit card co has launched the second year of its playoff hockey campaign aimed at hockey lovers whose favourite teams are no longer in contention for the Stanley Cup. The month-long TV campaign kicked off on April 2 with a spot set to Nazareth’s “Love Hurts” and featuring a forlorn hockey lover shaving his playoff beard in the shower (to hide the tears) and burying his foam finger.

The campaign, with media by OMD and creative from TBWA, will run for four weeks, and is accompanied by a month-long contest which automatically enters Visa cardholders to win a trip for 10 to the first game of the NHL playoff finals, Gallant Law, head of sponsorship marketing and brand management, Visa, tells MiC.

“We don’t usually give people the opportunity to bring this many people with them on a trip like this,” he says. “But we know hockey fans like to watch the game with more than one person, so choosing just one friend would be difficult. Why not just bring a big group and let everyone celebrate together?”

The TV spot and contest is also joined by a Facebook app which allows users to pick the 10 friends they would take with them, should they win the top prize, says Law.

John Hughson, account lead on Visa at TBWA, says the idea for the campaign came from wanting to find a new way to express the passion fans have for their hockey teams.

“We are talking to 18- to 34-year-olds, the die-hards,” he says. “People who understand what their partner is going through when the Leafs don’t make it, or the Canucks are kicked out in the first round. I think we have caught a certain aspect of hockey and how fans feel about it.”

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