September 27, 2010
The good folks at VERSUS sent over their 2010 NHL Opening Night commercial, which you might glimpse during Monday night's mini-marathon of "Whacked-Out Sports." Click the image to check it out as we figure out how to embed it here.
The Goo Goo Dolls? Granted, they were an improvement over Chaka Khan on the NHL Awards but ... and we don't write this lightly ... this makes us yearn for Nickelback in this spot.
The whole motif works: Fans around the U.S. rushing to their arenas or bars to catch the action, while the players are waiting to rush out onto the ice. The best shots in the spot open and close it: The simple effect of the score and period resetting on the Chicago Blackhawks and Philadelphia Flyers Jumbotron from Game 6 of the finals, and the ref dropping the puck on the camera at the end.
The Flyers and Blackhawks are two of
12 teams 14 teams represented in the ad, along with the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils, Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals (Ovechkin in a TV control monitor) and Calgary Flames (that's Jarome Iginla(notes) taking a faceoff against Chicago at the end). UPDATE: Eagle-eyed readers spied the New York Islanders on the license plate and the St. Louis Blues on the billboard.
That's nine of the top 10 teams in total appearances on VERSUS during the 2010-11 season, by the way. Who's missing? Your forever disrespected Buffalo Sabres. (Insert sad trombone here.)
For comparison's sake, here's the opening-night teaser for the 2009-10 season from VERSUS:
What say you? We think the new spot works up to a point, but it's hard to capture the incomparable mix of nervous optimism and electricity of opening night. With that:
Pass or Fail: The VERSUS 2010-11 Opening Night Commercial.