Scotiabank relives Canada’s “hockey dreams”

The financial company is bringing a new TV campaign to market as part of its program around this month's World Cup of Hockey in Toronto.
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For the past few years, Scotiabank has said that Canada’s love of hockey means it has a fifth season – hockey season – and it’s starting a bit earlier this year when the World Cup of Hockey descends on Toronto later this month. That makes it the perfect time to debut the latest addition to its “#The5thSeason” platform.

The new spot shows kids playing street hockey and pretending to be one of their heroes on the ice, something anyone who grew up playing the game can relate to. It goes a step further, though, as the kids end up recreating, move for move, some of the most iconic moments in the game’s history, from Bobby Orr and Lanny MacDonald’s Stanley Cup-winning shots to Paul Henderson’s goal that secured the Summit Series for Canada. It also features a young would-be broadcaster recreating the play-by-play calls that are just as iconic as the images of the players.

The spot and shorter cuts will air on broadcast, in digital channels and in Scotiabank branches through the duration of the tournament, which begins on Sept. 17 and will end by Oct. 1, depending on the length of the final series. After the tournament, the ad will become part of the bank’s activations around its sponsorship of the NHL when its regular season begins on Oct. 12. Bensimon Byrne led creative, with support from PHD on media and S&E Sponsorship.

While the video will be part of the whole hockey season, Clinton Braganza, SVP of marketing for Canadian banking at Scotiabank, says the fact that the spot is debuting in time for the World Cup of Hockey had a major influence on its creative direction.

“If you think of what the World Cup is, you’re probably going to see some memorable goals that’ll be remembered for generations,” he says.

In addition to being a sponsor of the NHL and all seven Canadian teams, Scotiabank sponsors over 8,000 youth and community teams across the country. That’s why focusing on young hockey fans and players has been a cornerstone of the “5th season” platform, from the campaign’s debut to last year’s video showing P.K. Subban paying a young team a visit.

“It’s great that we support the professional leagues, but it’s the communities that really brings it life,” Braganza says, adding that focusing on kids brings added authenticity to the creative. “When they play hockey, kids learn the value of hard work and determination, and they also learn to dream. If you go to the driveways and playgrounds, recreating these moments are what kids are doing. These are the most recognizable goals in hockey history, but bringing those to life through the eyes of children is what makes it magical.”

Authenticity is an important element to have when marketing in the hockey space, which is incredibly crowded in Canada. Over the years that “#The5thSeason” has been running, Scotiabank’s consumer research has shown that keeping the focus on authentic, relateable moments has been what’s made it successful.

“Hockey’s been done so many times by so many brands over the years, it’s very hard to stand out,” Braganza says. “In this spot, we tried to really capture the emotion of when that goal is scored. These are authentic moments and consumer research fed back to us that we had captured those moments well.”

The spot will also be on screens at the Scotiabank World Cup of Hockey Fan Village, a free hub for hockey fans to visit during the tournament in Toronto’s Distillery District. The village will feature viewing parties for every game, live musical performances, food representing each of the countries participating in the tournament and prize giveaways.

Scotiabank Passport members will have access to further prize giveaways – including a grand prize of two tickets to a game in a suite with NHL alumni. Scotiabank is sponsoring the Scotiabank Virtual Arena – allowing visitors to view hockey in VR – and the Scotiabank Sport Pad – an old-fashioned ball hockey rink for people to test their skills against each other. It will also host a selection of paid-entry concerts, including Green Day on Sept. 23.