SkipTheDishes wants to own the pre-game moment

The food delivery brand debuts a new strategy for activating its hockey sponsorship portfolio.

Skip-main-imageSkipTheDishes wants to be the first thing NHL fans think of as they settle in to cheer on their teams.

To bring a new strategy around hockey to life, Skip tapped self-described “conceptually-driven absurdist duo” and comedians the Perlorian Brothers – one portraying a Flames fan, the other, an Oilers supporter – who fashion a pull out sofa into a makeshift dinner table before a game starts.

In addition to the “Couchgating” spot, the broader campaign will explore other pre-game rituals that lead up to the puck drop – which also happens to be the time fans plan their game-time meal.

“Whenever someone thinks of hockey, we want them to think of Skip,” says Cheryl Radisa, VP of marketing for SkipTheDishes. “For live entertainment, especially hockey, anticipation is always on – fans are constantly looking ahead with hope to the next season, the next game, the next period and the next moment.”

Along with a full refresh on in-game messaging during Sportsnet’s NHL broadcasts, Skip’s QR code, which debuted during the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, is again appearing in broadcast ads to simplify game time orders and provide a direct connection with the brand’s app.

Recent NHL seasons have been unique, Radisa explains, leading Skip to adopt unique ways to respond. In order to get Skip’s messaging across in a meaningful way within the limited time span offered by the abruptly started 2020 playoffs and shortened 2020-2021 season, the deliverer focused on being present in a number of areas to connect with fans watching from home. That included delivering snacks from teams’ home arenas or a playoff campaign that showed a fan wearing pants specially designed to have sauce wiped on them.

But with a return to normalcy beginning, the time was right for Skip to launch a more robust, targeted approach for its marketing around hockey.

“For this season, we honed in to own the space leading up to game time, focusing on the anticipation of puck drop,” Radisa says. That’s also been helped by laddering up its official sponsorships – the campaign launch coincided with Skip extending deals with six Canadian teams (the Maple Leafs being the only one not included). Those local-focused deals built the brand’s association with the sport in recent years, leading to a league-level sponsorship with the NHL in January, as well as a deal with Hockey Canada last December.

According to Radisa, broadcast remains a strong platform for making connections with customers. For this campaign the aim is to meet 11.5 million avid Canadian hockey fans at every touchpoint – TV, targeted video, display ads and social media – to consistently be top-of-mind.

In April, McCann Canada was granted full AOR duties for the meal delivery service as part of a larger, global assignment. For this campaign, Skip also worked with Pomp and Circumstance, Wasserman, UM Canada and Skip’s internal studio team.