TVA ramps up its hockey campaign to build playoff anticipation

Marketing VP Claude Foisy said last year, things were kept "quiet" - but with Canada's presence in the Stanley Cup playoffs, it's upping its media game.

It’s no secret: with five Canadian hockey teams in the playoffs, the broadcasters with NHL rights will be upping their media spend to promote the post-season matches.

Quebec’s TVA, which holds the exclusive French-language broadcasting rights for the playoffs will launch a new advertising campaign titled “Au rythme des séries” (“The Rhythm of the Playoffs”). The spots will utilize a wider variety of media than last year and aim for a more emotional connection with viewers.

It’s a major step up from last year when there weren’t any Canadian teams in the post-season, said VP of marketing Claude Foisy. “Last year it’s fair to say we were a little more quiet,” he said. While advertising for the games last year included ads on TV and digital, this year will see out-of-home added into the mix, and will incorporate more real-time data into the advertising. It will also see an expansion of advertising across many of parent company Quebecor’s print, television and digital properties.

“It’s very different from what we do normally,” he said. “Last year it would just be something like, ‘Habs vs. Rangers,’ you have the game time of when to tune in. This year you might see a digital ad that incorporated a key moment from the last game. Let’s say [Carey] Price does an amazing job, has a real shining moment, we want to capitalize on that and use that in the creative in order to build anticipation for what’s coming in the next game.”

The campaign will continue until the end of the playoffs, regardless of how long the various Canadian teams last.

Overall, TVA is bracing itself for more viewers this post-season. During the 2016/17 regular season, Saturday night games saw an increase of 7% in viewership year-over-year (an average audience of 695,000 per game up from 645,000), as well as a 6% increase for pre-game shows (an average audience of 103,091 viewers) and 25% for post-game shows (209,048 viewers). Although English-language rights holder Rogers has vowed to make a slight cut in commercial time from its broadcast, a reflection of its own anticipated increase in viewers, TVA would not share any of its strategies in this area at press time.


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