Fans get up close and (sometimes really) personal with Canada’s top curlers

Who: Curling Canada and Cossette, with Cossette Media, Cycle Media for editing, OPC for production and Wave Productions for audio.

What: “Curling fans get closer,” a new national campaign that coincides with Curling Canada’s “Season of Champions” event schedule. The organization has also introduced its revamped website (also developed by Cossette).

When & Where: The campaign began last week and runs through March. Elements include TV ads running on TSN, CTV and Global, as well as online, print, digital and out-of-home.

Why: The new work builds on last year’s “You don’t have to know it to love it,” campaign, and features the return of curling commentator Doug (yup, just Doug). It’s an awareness campaign aimed at driving ticket sales for Curling Canada’s upcoming tournament slate.

How: While last year’s campaign emphasized that people don’t need to fully understand the sport to enjoy it, this year the emphasis is on the proximity fans have to their favourite curlers during major events like the Brier.

It’s highlighted by a series of videos showing Doug interviewing prominent Canadian curlers, including four-time Tim Horton’s Brier champion Kevin Koe and two-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Chelsea Carey about how close fans are to the playing surface during tournaments, only to be interrupted by overzealous fans.

While Doug was clueless about curling in last year’s campaign, he seems to have learned enough about the sport in the past year to provide solo commentary without assistance from last year’s campaign partner, longtime TSN curling commentator Vic Rauter.

Print, digital and out-of-home ads extend the theme, with visuals showing fans’ hands on curling rocks and brooms, or in one case even helping a curler tie their shoe.

And we quote: “Fans in the lower seats can practically shake hands with the athletes during games. No other sport has the same level of proximity and it creates a real sense of connection, which is why our athletes are so popular in the sports community, and why there’s such a great demand for tickets to our championship events.” —Curling Canada CEO Katherine Henderson.

Chris Powell