I may be one of the only hockey fans I know who actually kind of likes NBC’s Because It’s the Cup ad series. I’ve seen many others who would prefer they bring back the History Will Be Made ads from last year, but with the beefed-up interest in hockey on the NBC networks comes a glossy new ad campaign and that’s just the way it is.
Sure, the initial one is definitely geared at bringing in new fans (“Because hockey has two halftimes”), but that’s part and parcel of the NBC array of networks getting the rights to every playoff game. It seems to be working: ratings are higher than ever.
Yes, the one detailing the exploits of the Stanley Cup has a bit of a factual error (it’s not “rumored to have gone for a dip” if there are pictures of it and a book about it; after that, it’s just fact), too.
But the recent shift in the series of ads, featuring different teams and players as they make the run for the Cup, works better because they appeal to the humanity of the players and makes them even more relatable.
For example, this one about Zach Parise, featuring requisite mentions of his dad and pictures from when he was a wee hockey player:
Or this one about Anze Kopitar and how he’s come so far from his hometown:
But this new one that premiered last night during Stanley Cup Final Game 1 is downright touching. Check it out:
There’s definitely an interesting variety of jubilant Stanley Cup champion teams here. Including the 1994 New York Rangers might cause a few “we almost had it all” tears to be shed among today’s Blueshirts faithful. Putting in the dynastic Edmonton Oilers of the 1980s, the 1993 Montreal Canadiens and the 1989 Calgary Flames remind viewers of a time when, yes, Canadian teams won Cups too. Then there are teams like the 2003 New Jersey Devils, the 2001 Colorado Avalanche and all of the most recent victors. The theme is obvious–winning the Cup turns these big strong men into gleeful little boys–and it works. It works pretty well.
There are a whole bunch of other Because It’s the Cup videos that haven’t or won’t air on TV. Check them all out here!