Tennis Canada wants fans to feel tennis as National Bank Open returns

Tennis Canada is reminding fans just how intense top-flight tennis can feel after two years in which the National Bank Open has been disrupted by Covid.

In a new ad campaign from Sid Lee called “Feel Tennis,” the drama and adrenaline of the game played by the world’s best players is brought to life in the beating heart, racing pulse and dilated pupils of enthralled fans.

“Tennis Canada was very proud to announce that the National Bank Open would be back this year in its regular format and enable all the tennis fans who visit our sites in Montréal and Toronto to ‘Feel Tennis’ like they used to,” said Anne Belliveau, senior vice-president and chief marketing officer at Tennis Canada. National Bank took over naming rights for the tournaments last year.

The two tournaments, which are held in Montreal and Toronto—with the men’s and women’s tournaments alternating between cities each year—were cancelled in 2020 and took place with reduced attendance in 2021. The ad features young Canadian tennis stars Leylah Annie Fernandez, Félix Auger-Aliassime, and Bianca Andreescu.

Two versions of the lead ad—one for the men’s tournament and one for the women’s—use Auger-Aliassime and Andreescu bouncing the ball as the prepare to serve. The rhythmic bouncing becomes the heartbeat of one fan, the pulse of others and so on, with tension rising until it is released with the players’ powerful serves.

“From the shared feeling of anticipation in the air, to the energetic sound of the first ball serve, there’s no comparison to watching a live match and it’s this revitalizing sensation that we wanted to convey through this campaign,” says Laura Willig, account supervisor at Sid Lee. “We focused on the intangible feeling that being at the National Bank Open gives. It is a complete tennis celebration with all of your senses.”

The ads were produced by Colossale with Martin C. Pariseau directing.

David Brown