Sonnet sticks to comparing the old with the new

This year's edition of a hockey-centric campaign maintains focus on how the game and insurance industry have evolved.
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Sonnet Insurance is sticking to its strategy of comparing old-time hockey with the new era of the sport in the second season of its campaign with the NHL Player’s Association.

This is an attempt to not only show how, like hockey, the insurance industry has changed, but also how Sonnet “has worked to enhance and innovate the insurance experience for Canadians.”

Rather than focusing on game preparation or fitness like when the “Young Stars vs. The Legends” campaign launched last year, the first spot of this year’s edition of the campaign – which launched on Monday – hones in on an essential piece of hockey equipment: the hockey stick.

The spot shows three current players – Toronto Maple Leafs’ Morgan Rielly, Zach Hyman and Frédérik Gauthier – smirking at the new arrival of their “carbon fiber, custom curved” hockey sticks. Meanwhile, across the dressing room, Hall of Famers Doug Gilmour, Jayna Hefford and Mario Tremblay, use old-school methods to curve their wooden sticks, like over a kitchen stovetop or with a handheld torch.

“Not a lot has changed, but at the same time, a fair amount has changed. There’s nuances to them that are different,” says Brian Long, VP of marketing at Sonnet, of this year’s campaign. Long says the target audience for the campaign, once again, is hockey fans.

“We’re still obviously targeting hockey fans, and nostalgia is a great way to do that,” Long says. “The way you used to curve your stick… It’s a common thing that all hockey fans, or people who have played hockey, would understand and be very aware and cognizant of.” Long says that Sonnet has seen that sentiment expressed in the feedback it has received so far.

There were some strategic developments in this second season compared to the last season of the campaign, Long notes. In the first spot, there’s Morgan Rielly (from Vancouver, B.C.), Zach Hyman (from Toronto) and Frédérik Gauthier (from Laval, Que.), giving the spot a somewhat national scope, despite the fact these three players are all on the same team.

The strategy of juxtaposing the “old and the new,” still remains at the core of this second season of Sonnet spots, Long notes.

He references past Sonnet spots, like the one showing a man in heeled, platform shoes, counting how many steps the nearest fire hydrant is to him, representing the old ways people would buy and save money on insurance. “Now, you just pick up your phone [or] buy it online,” Long says. “That’s why hockey is such a great fit for us because hockey has changed: everything from the rules, to the equipment, to the fashion, to the way you warm up, to the way you eat…all of those types of things.”

Launched in 2016, Sonnet Insurance is a fully-online insurance company, and the brand has often associated itself with the “evolution” of the insurance industry.

More 30-second commercials will be showcased on TV and social media, unveiled over the remainder of the 2020 NHL season. Sonnet worked with Whitney Creative for English production and Rethink for French production, with Ocean Media handling the TV buy.