Ads to draw new curlers spot-on

JOE PAVIA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:43 AM ET

They may be ads we don’t get tired of seeing.

Now that curling is rampant on television the same Season of Champions ads repeat ad nauseam. During Olympic Pre-Trials coverage, a Canadian Curling Association ad stood out because it was different. One almost had to wonder, who stole the CCA and paid for this campaign?

Startcurling.ca is a marketing campaign designed as part of a larger CCA package called Leveraging 2010. The broadcast numbers are impressive. This season alone, TSN will broadcast 350 hours of live coverage. The Olympic broadcasting consortium will cover every Vancouver curling match. This doesn’t include CBC Grand Slam coverage or even cable coverage of events like the current national mixed or provincial championships. The CCA is right to capitalize on this exposure.

The ads use actors (and Paul Savage, who co-ordinated things) saying “hurry” and “hard” in different styles and ways like the Japanese man with the bull horn.

At the end of each 30-second spot, viewers are directed to startcurling.ca.

There through graphics integrated to the commercials people click through next step to curl information. The entire campaign also utilizes the major social media platforms.

Toronto’s CMG Marketing thought up the campaign. The CCA’s Danny Lamoureux met with the firm who had examined previous national body marketing campaigns. At their first meeting, CMG told Lamoureux, “We went through all your stuff and frankly curling is boring.”

The marketers got to work with a campaign targeted to the 18-plus market, to people who don’t curl as well as visible minorities and special needs populations.

“We were a bit over the edge so we tested the commercials. We didn’t test them on curlers but people who don’t curl and they liked them,” said Lamoureux. While he didn’t divulge the budget he did say “We have a pretty good amount of money in the budget to spend on all kinds of things (to leverage the Games). Curling clubs will soon be receiving a package on how to conduct an Olympic Open House for instance.

“We took a fairly big risk here,” Lamoureux remarked.

One always hears “high risk, high reward” during curling broadcasts. Startrisking.ca might get lots of people to startcurling.ca.

COCHRANE DEFENDS: Cochrane successfully defended his title in the Rideau Cashspiel by defeating Buckingham’s Simon Dupuis 8-4 on Monday. Cochrane, Rich Moffatt, Colin Dow and John Steski won $3,000. The semi-finallists were Darryl Smith and Ted Butler ($1,200 each). Qualifiers were Chris Gardner, Frank O’Driscoll, Doug Johnston and Greg Richardson ($800 each).

JUNIOR ACHIEVEMENT: The Huntley curling club girls team of Lauren Horton, Andrea Sinclair, Cassandra Lewin and Jessica Armstrong won the first event in last weekend’s Minden Cashspiel. They defeated St. Thomas’ Sarah Westman.

Behind the glass: Entry forms are now available for the OVCA Mixed Bonspiel, which runs Jan. 21-24. Open, senior and recreational sections are available. Check out ovca.com for details.

OCA EVENTS: Junior men’s and women’s zones, plus the Scotties Tournament of Hearts zones 1 and 2, all go this weekend.

CURLING THIS WEEK: The finals of the Canadian Mixed from Burlington are this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Some of the games are being shown live on Rogers and Cogeco cable. The Dominion Curling Club National Championships begin Monday in Toronto.

joe@hoglinecurling.com


Videos

Photos