Here's an interesting way for the oldest company in the hockey equipment market to move new merchandise: the floating head of Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin.
The Russian sniper's detached noggin stars in this new spot for the CCM U+ Crazy Light skate and will be seen in a full TV, print and web advertizing blitz calling on hockey players of all ages and skill levels to prove their commitment to the game.
Yan Martin, vice-president of product and marketing for CCM, says the idea is to use the gregarious winger's larger-than-life personality to catch the attention of consumers saturated with media.
"He's one of the most exciting players in the league and one of the most authentic," Martin said of his pitchman. "He plays the game very physical. He's relentless and wants to win at all costs."
Martin said CCM could have gone with the tried and true hockey commercial campaign - player skates down the ice in slow-motion, player scores goal, quick cut to a close-up of the skates - but the company ultimately decided to go a different route. Ovechkin was a willing accomplice.
"We wanted something that really stood out from the clutter and wasn't traditional," Martin said. "We also have a hockey player who plays the game in a non-traditional way. He connects with hockey consumers. It's the perfect fit for us to step out of a traditional hockey campaign and try to do something more exciting and more in tune with younger consumers."
The company, which dates back to September of 1899 when the Canada Cycle & Motor Company Limited opened its doors for business in Weston, Ont., even went viral last week, releasing a clip of Ovechkin arguing with a commercial director over his refusal to remove the customizable blades during a shoot (not to mention doing his impression of Rocky IV villain Ivan Drago).
"We wanted to bring an element of fun to this," Martin said. "At the end of the day, hockey is a game. If we take it too seriously it might become boring, so we're trying something exciting."