The NHL Uses New Angle to Broaden Audience Reach

While sitting at a local restaurant watching game 3 of the Stanley Cup on Monday night – NJ Devils vs. LA Kings, if you haven’t been in the loop – I heard from table to table, “Because it’s the cup.” I’ll have another beer, because it’s the cup! Let’s order more wings, because it’s the cup!

I could not help but laugh to myself, and too found myself reciting the campaign slogan in a comedic manor. After thinking about the slogan, I did some research and found the campaign was targeted at the casual fan who watches the game in a social setting. Switching gears from their previous campaign “History Will be Made,” the NHL tailored their new campaign to reach a broader audience, positioning the cup as a fun, social event, rather than all-about-hockey.

I must say, this resonated with me, and became somewhat of an inside joke between our group of friends. As casual hockey fan – I’ve been to three games in the past year – it gave me something I could relate to with my hardcore hockey fan friends. I did not have to know anything about past Stanley Cup games, the record of the LA Kings or NJ Devils, or anything related to hockey for that matter.

Think of this in terms of other sporting events. People who watch the Super Bowl are not necessarily football fans. FIFA World Cup, same idea. “Because it’s the Cup” ties together the idea that sports are not only about technicalities and competition, they are about social gathering and interaction, and everyone coming together “because”.

Targeting your messaging to your audience does not always have to be about clever rhyming words with bells and whistles. Some of the best campaigns have been to the point, pithy and short messages that resonate. Step back from your messaging and think for a minute. Who are you targeting? Who are you missing that you should be targeting?

This all goes back to my blog post last week on Advertising. Make sure you are crafting messaging that your audience can identify with.

And now, watch this ad and raise your cup, because it’s the cup.