Henkel scores with hockey promo

Want attention in Canada? Play hockey.

Want attention in Canada? Play hockey.

CPG powerhouse Henkel did that with its integrated sponsorship activation around the recent International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) championships, held in Quebec City and Halifax this year. Henkel Canada, headquartered in Oakville and Mississauga, Ont., crafted a contest around the championships, called the Henkel Play Fair…Play Clean Contest. It invited kids ages six to 16 to submit original essays (with help from a parent or guardian) about the importance of keeping hockey positive at henkelpowerplayers.ca. The winner, eight-year-old Billy Strong, and his father won a trip to Halifax to see an IIHL game. The effort scored coverage by over 250 news outlets, translating into over 715 million impressions.

The IIHL sponsorship also included on-site sampling, a presence at the fan villages and in-store displays that drove consumers to the Power Players website. Henkel is also running hockey-related contests for adults on the site, including a chance to win a home theatre. The contests wrap in mid-summer.

It was a coming-out party of sorts for the Dusseldorf, Germany-based company, which has been quietly honing its strategy to take on the Canadian market. It has over 58,000 employees in 125 countries, and beefed up its North American presence when it acquired Dial North America three years ago and bought several Gillette brands from rival P&G, including Right Guard and Soft & Dri.

Henkel used the sponsorship to push itself as an umbrella brand, as well as LePage, Right Guard and Purex, ‘the official detergent of hockey moms.’ This is the first time Henkel’s three divisions – adhesives, personal care and home care – have worked together on the same promotion.

‘It’s important that consumers and retailers understand who Henkel is,’ says John Schofield, VP, country manager, Henkel Consumer Goods Canada, adding that the Play Fair contest was a good fit, as one of the brand’s tenets is social responsibility. ‘I want people to know there’s a company behind the brands that has existed for 130 years and has a history and a code of ethics of the highest regard.’

Schofield says sustainability will be a big focus for Henkel Canada going forward, with new eco-friendly tweaks and launches planned in the near future.

Guelph, Ont.-based Diana Robinson & Associates handled PR for the efforts.