Connor McDavid sells cars as easily as he scores goals

Who: Go Auto, with Round.

What: A new ad campaign for the Edmonton auto dealer group’s “Let’s Go” platform featuring Edmonton Oilers superstar Connor McDavid, alongside Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod of “BodyBreak” fame.

When & Where: The campaign launched Oct. 6 with a 30- and two different 15-second spots running on TV and online through the 2021-22 NHL season, as well as posters and online display ads.

Why: The 50-strong dealer group introduced its “Let’s Go,” brand campaign early last year. The aim for this new creative was to show how buying a car from Go Auto can be easy and the customer experience enjoyable.

“In this latest evolution of the ‘Let’s Go’ campaign we chose to partner with three Canadian icons to help reinforce our commitment to making the car buying and service experience painless and fun,” said Go Auto’s vice-president of marketing Duncan Cochrane in a release.

How: The 30-second McDavid ad, “He’s a Natural,” presents McDavid as a new car salesperson. He’s welcomed by McLeod and Johnson, who explain that won’t be able to sell cars just because he’s famous, and that he’ll have to work for it. The rest of the spot shows McDavid moving cars as effortlessly as he moves the puck—much to McLeod and Johnson’s amazement.

McDavid is in every shot of the spot, although his dialogue is kept to a minimum: “Okay,” “Sold,” “Now what?,” “Let’s go” and, in VO, “We’re gonna need more cars” (perhaps it’s because the creative team knew that pro hockey players can sometimes struggle in front of the camera, including our personal favourite). The two 15s feature only McLeod and Johnson. In one, the duo humorously demonstrates an SUV’s roominess, while the other shows them working out in a garage’s service bay.

“Everyone knows that the car buying, and ownership experience can be a pain-point. Go Auto goes out of their way to make the entire experience less stressful,” said Paul Riss, co-founder and creative director at Round. “Our goal was to let Canadians know that the experience can be a lot more fun than you’d think. Using Connor, Hal and Joanne playfully lets people know that Go Auto adds a little fun to it all.”

How’d they get McDavid? McDavid has worked with GoAuto for a while, appearing in another ad prior to this. “Go Auto is Edmonton based, and has been working with Connor and other members of the team and coaching staff for a number of years,” explained Round co-founder Mike Davidson. “Go Auto supplies many of the players and their families with vehicles. There’s a real sense of local businesses supporting each other. There’s definitely a friends and family relationship between Connor and Go Auto.”

David Brown