A nine-goal outburst tore them apart 26 years ago, but flank steak and salmon tartare have brought them back together.
Patrick Roy and Mario Tremblay, central figures in one of the most memorable chapters in Quebec sports history, have reunited in a buzzy new ad campaign for Uber Eats. Developed by Uber’s North American agency Special Group in partnership with Mosaic in Canada, “The Reunion” is part of Uber’s ongoing “Tonight I’ll Be Eating…” global campaign.
Other well-known figures who have appeared in the ads include Star Wars actor Mark Hamill alongside Sir Patrick Stewart, Saturday Night Live‘s Leslie Jones (along with Leslie Jones and, er, Leslie Jones), and Mike Myers and Dana Carvey reprising their famous roles as Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World.
The new Canadian spot features Roy and Tremblay squaring off in a game of tabletop hockey, a not-so-subtle reference to the infamous Dec. 2, 1995 game between the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings—during which then Habs coach Tremblay left Roy in net for nine of the 11 goals scored by the Wings, almost unthinkable for a player of his stature.
Legendary Montreal Gazette writer Red Fisher referred to the game as “The Wipeout,” and its aftermath would ultimately alter the direction of three NHL franchises.
It’s the type of ad guaranteed to get widespread attention, particularly in a hockey-mad market like Quebec, where the Canadiens are idolized (especially after Monday’s shocking victory over the hated Toronto Maple Leafs).
The campaign has already earned widespread coverage from media outlets including TSN, RDS, Radio-Canada, Journal de Montreal, La Presse, and the Gazette, providing some additional free media for Uber in the heated battle for share in the crowded food delivery space.
As with other ads in the campaign, the spot opens with each man informing viewers what he’ll be eating from Uber—flank steak and fries for Roy; salmon tartare and blueberry pie for Tremblay—both nods to nicknames they had in their younger days.
After their food is delivered, the two men square off in a game of tabletop hockey, with Tremblay pumping nine goals past Roy to take a 9-1 lead. The score is significant, because it was the score when Tremblay finally gave Roy the hook in that fateful 1995 game. After being pulled, a furious Roy brushed past Tremblay to inform Canadiens president Ronald Corey that he had played his last game for Montreal.
Roy was traded to the Colorado Avalanche four days later, and would eventually lead the former Quebec Nordiques to a Stanley Cup that rightfully belonged to Detroit (yep, bitter Wings fan here) after a record 62-win season. It also laid the foundation for what would become the most vicious rivalry in pro sports over the next several years.
Laura Serra, vice-president and ECD with Mosaic, called the commercial was a rare opportunity to be part of something bigger than advertising. “[N]ot only did we end a 26-year feud by reuniting two hockey legends, we also wrote a new chapter for the history books of hockey in Quebec,” she said in a release.
In the extended Quebec version of the spot, Tremblay suggests to Roy that he should pull his goalie because he seems tired. Roy responds that he’s got a couple more championships in him, a reference to the two Cups he won with the Avalanche in 1996 and 2001. Other ads in the campaign feature Roy and Tremblay continuing their game-night experience by facing off against each other in both darts and chess.
The spot had its exclusive debut on TVA Sport during game five of the first-round series between the Canadiens and Leafs, before being expanded across the province during’s Monday’s seventh game, with ads on RDS, RDS2, TVA Sports and Radio-Canada. The ad also aired in English on the NHL Network.
And if Uber Eats is thinking about spoofing another indelible Patrick Roy moment, we humbly suggest this one. Hot dogs seem like the most appropriate choice.