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The Dream Hockey Championship

ATRIA FINLAND LTD, Nurmo / ATRIA FINLAND LTD. / 2020

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Overview

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Overview

Background

The Ice Hockey World Championship always takes place in May. During the two-week tournament, the whole country lives and breathes ice hockey.

The cancellation of the Ice Hockey World Championship due to the corona crisis was catastrophic news for the marketing of Wilhelm sausage because it automatically meant there was no environment for the biggest campaign of the year.

So, the brief was challenging: how to reach all the hockey fans who would otherwise have watched the World Championship tournament and seen Wilhelm’s advertising?

The games were now not being watched at home – and so the necessity to buy snacks and BBQ sausages was greatly diminished. There was a huge risk that Wilhelm products would be left on the shelf. Increasing sales seemed an impossible task. A defensive battle to prevent a collapse in sales seemed Wilhelm’s best choice – but fortunately, it was not the only choice.

Idea

Instead of an ad campaign during the Ice Hockey World Championship, Wilhelm set up its own tournament: the Dream Hockey Championship – a simulated tournament that invited passionate fans to share what their dream tournament would look like. It was a tournament which results depended wholly on the imagination of fans – because every single fan has sometimes wished they could decide the outcome of the game. Now for the first time, it was possible.

The games were not played, but instead, fans designed the events and outcome of each game for the Finnish national team on the campaign website.

Strategy

The target group of the campaign were young men following sports and especially ice hockey. They had just experienced a massive disappointment with the cancellation of the Ice Hockey World Championship.

Instead of sulking over a canceled tournament, fans should be offered inspiring and activating content that would somehow be related to ice hockey. The Dream Hockey Championship was the perfect solution to this demand: Fans got to enjoy hockey in a completely new way and most importantly, they got the chance to speculate about the matches and demonstrate their own expertise.

Execution

Wilhelm partnered with Finland’s most popular commercial TV channel MTV3. The Dream Hockey Championship consisted of ten 15-minute episodes with studio discussion, interviews of the best hockey players in Finland, and of course a simulated hockey match that was based on the stories shared by fans. In addition, each episode also included a trip down memory lane, showcasing the highlights of previous tournaments.

All the episodes were run by Finland's best-known hockey experts, airing primetime on the same channel, and on the same days the Finnish national team would have played. This meant that the campaign lasted a total of two weeks.

And last but not least: all the simulated matches were announced by the legendary Antero Mertaranta – the man announcing the Finnish national team’s games for more than 20 years.

Outcome

The unique approach to hockey found its audience: the Dream Hockey Championship reached almost 1.2 million viewers: more than 20% of the population.

The Dream Hockey Championship was the most popular prime time broadcast in Finland: gathering, on average, over 200,000 viewers per broadcast.

And most importantly, Wilhelm’s sales skyrocketed: +80% from April to May and +86% compared to the same period last year.

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BBQ GRILLS FROM LIBRARIES

ATRIA FINLAND LTD, Nurmo

BBQ GRILLS FROM LIBRARIES

2021, ATRIA FINLAND LTD.

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