Like many professional hockey players, Connor McDavid isn’t exactly the demonstrative kind. Hockey writer Adrian Dater—who, to be fair, is kind of a jerk—once cruelly described him as “personality-deficient.”
But what’s this? The Edmonton Oilers superstar expressing his excitement over a well-executed… financial plan?!? Yep, that’s McDavid in a new 30-second spot for CIBC called “Game Plan,” which sees him reacting with excitement to a plan drawn up by his financial advisor.
Created by Courage, the spot is running on NHL telecasts though Nov. 25, supported by programmatic advertising debuting on Nov. 1, and a Toronto Star placement on Oct. 23. EssenceMediacom handled media.
Raul Garcia, who recently joined Courage as executive creative director, said that the agency was tasked with conveying that everyone needs help with their financial planning, not just sports stars, and that its experts can help devise a plan to meet their needs.
Shot in Edmonton during the NHL pre-season, the spot opens with intense closeups of McDavid watching as someone draws up “plays” on a whiteboard, circling his #97 jersey number and writing words like “momentum” and “goal!!” The spot ends with McDavid springing to his feet and screaming “LET’S GO!!!” and revealing that he’s in a CIBC branch, not the dressing room.
“The approach that we took was how do we use Connor McDavid in a way that’s different from most sponsorships,” said Garcia. “[We knew that] it was going to run in hockey games, and people who are fans are instantly going to know who it is, so it’s never going to be out of context.”
McDavid signed a sponsorship deal with CIBC as a fresh-faced NHL rookie in 2016, a partnership that grew out of his parents’—and his own—longstanding relationship with the bank.
He has appeared in multiple spots in the seven years since, ranging from playful early spots in which he and his brother Cameron starred alongside former brand mascot Percy the Penguin, to spots in which he and a CIBC investment consultant surprise fans.