November 11, 2010
The motif for VERSUS' NHL advertisements this season has been one of a shared tradition between fans and players. The Opening Night commercial connected the nervous euphoria of fans rushing to watch the game with that of the players preparing to play in it. Despite featuring an insufferable Goo Goo Dolls song, it worked pretty well.
This latest ad debuted on VERSUS this week and continues that theme: Young Chicago Blackhawks fan grows up with his Denis Savard (nice touch) autographed hat, before bidding farewell to his keepsake during a Patrick Kane(notes) hat trick. Take a gander:
It's a wonderfully shot spot that effectively portrays what it's like to grow up with the game as a fan and how one generation fades into the next. It's also one of the most illogically annoying hockey commercials we've seen in recent memory.
C'mon, VERSUS: Who the [expletive] is throwing an iconic, autographed memento they've been clutching since childhood onto the ice for a hat trick, never to see it again? You only see an autographed hat thrown on the ice for four reasons:
• Extreme intoxication leading to poor decisions.
• Extreme disgust with the team, like the Devils fan who claimed he tossed his Kovalchuk jersey on the ice Wednesday night.
• It's your older brother's hat.
• You realize the autograph actually reads "Steve Ludzik."
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun-Times graded the spot as a B-minus, writing:
"Hats Off" surely will resonate with hockey fanatics, but it lacks the full emotional punch because we do not see the man at that pivotal moment when he has his hat in his hands at the game. That's probably because the commercial's central conceit required using several different actors to play the main character. Too bad. "Hats Off" would have been ever so much stronger had the commercial's creators found a way around that sticking point.
Or, you know, didn't have some goofball toss the hockey equivalent of Charles Foster Kane's Rosebud onto the ice for the first of 25 Patrick Kane hat tricks he'll likely witness in person over the next 10 years.
But what say you, dear readers, about this latest VERSUS spot?
1. Pass or Fail: The VERSUS "Hats Off" commercial.
2. Would you, or have you ever considered, throwing a cherished hockey memento on the ice in celebration, never to see it again?