Those who know me would agree that I’m a big Blackhawks fan — even through the lean years. There’s a certain energy that goes with this game full of speed, grace and power that can’t be found anywhere else — especially during playoff time. Plus, hockey fans are a tight group. We know who we are, and we know how to communicate with our tribes. Newcomers are respected and appreciated, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know that their background is limited.
This camaraderie among fans is partly why I feel Amstel Light’s new TV commercial is so good, even though the spot never shows or mentions hockey.
You see, this year the Blackhawks introduced a new song that gets played every time the team scores (except when Kane, Toews or Sharp scores, then they play songs unique to their names). According to John McDonough (Blackhawks President), Chelsea Dagger, a 2006 song by The Fratellis (band from Glasgow) was selected for it’s unique energy, but the crowds early on weren’t overly impressed early on and the sound technician thought long about changing it. But McDonough held tight and said to give it some time. Good thinking John. By mid-season, the catchy “duh, da-da-duh, da-da-duh, da-da-da-de-da) was being sung by over 20,000 people after every score. But outside of the United Center, few people if any even heard of the song.
Enter Amstel Light, and their attempt to market their beer to hockey fans.
Anyone who saw the Blackhawks score this year (unless it was Kane, Toews or Sharp) will easily identify the song — and likely recall the beer after watching the spot because by using the same song, they got our attention. Then by cleverly building on the “Dam” in Amsterdam visually, they get their message into our heads. And isn’t that what advertising is supposed to do — get the attention of a select, targeted group (in this case, hockey fans), and attach your message to one that they already know (in this case, the good feeling of listening to that song when the only time they would’ve heard it would have been during those joyous moments after a goal).
All that’s missing is a link to something where rabid fans can connect with each other — and Amstel Light. And that’s a big mistake. Why they would not carry this to the next level is beyond me. Maybe their agency only knows how to make good TV spots?
Anyway, well done Amstel Light. And thanks for talking our language in Chicago.