On Monday, Advertising Age wrote about our launch of Bauer’s first new brand campaign since 1996. Their angle was how we adjusted our creative in light of the NHL lockout, shifting the focus from our roster of A-list professional stars to our core brand community of young hockey players. It was a nice article. And it was really nice when cbssports.com and ESPN’s Darren Rovell also picked it up.
My own angle would be far different. I’ve launched many brand campaigns during my career, but as a TV storyteller, I’m thrilled to be part of a major brand campaign that launched digitally. On Bauer’s website. And Facebook page. And it’s been exciting and validating to watch how it’s spreading in the Bauer brand community. #ownthemoment is getting a lot of play on Twitter, even beyond our ice hockey community.
At Olson, we talk about the importance of communities to brands; how their endorsements shortcut the traditional sales funnel, how word of mouth is a powerful new media platform and mostly, how activating a brand community can help shape and improve a brand’s bottom-line.
It’s no coincidence that over the past seven years, the Bauer brand community helped grow this tired old brand that once stood a distant third to become number one in every category: sticks, skates, pads, helmets (and honestly, can you even name three hockey brands?). That’s a tremendous accomplishment that wasn’t done through a huge spend but rather targeted community engagement, giving them relevant content and themes to share with their friends, all of which added credence to Bauer’s credibility as the true brand in hockey.
But what’s most exciting are our plans to later launch the TV portion of the advertising. We’ve already cut a nice :60 brand spot featuring amateurs and pros alike, but we won’t air that version first. Instead, we are running a contest where we invite our community to share personal video showing how they own the moment: in practice, in games, while traveling, wherever. We are collecting and sharing their footage and the kicker is, we will edit some of this community-sourced footage into our broadcast debut spot.
In other words, our brand community will both shape our message, and then, further spread it as the winners notify their own networks about when to see them in a Bauer TV spot.
This is film doing more. This is TV with no dead ends. And this is exactly why I came to Olson: to learn, to grow, to reinvent. It’s really, really exciting.
By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson