On Sunday night, Sidney Crosby added two more trophies to his giant collection case: the Conn Smythe and a second Stanley Cup. This is very impressive, of course, as we should all judge a man on his achievements. But we must ask what’s truly important here: stats? trophies? commercials? It’s definitely commercials.
So without further ado, here is my Definitive Rating of Sidney Crosby Commercials *
*note: this is not a comprehensive list because wow he’s been in a lot
This commercial feels so incredibly dated. It’s amazing how the early 00’s really have their own vibe to the point where it’s easily recognizable. I half-expect the Kool-Aid pitcher to come busting through the wall and offer to play too.
Cheese Factor: So much cheese, like the kind of cheese you get at a crappy Mexican joint where they dump queso all over every single thing you order and you can’t even see the plate anymore because of all the cheese.
How Many Tears: None, unless you count the tears from wincing at Sidney’s “acting.”
Effectiveness: You know what, I’ll rank this one pretty high. If I was a kid, which is clearly their target audience, I’d definitely be bugging my parents to buy Gatorade, either because I thought it would turn me into Sidney Crosby or because I thought Sidney Crosby might show up to play pick-up with me.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Jump the Boards Tim Horton’s
This was part of a competition in which you could meet Sidney Crosby, so it makes sense that it’s a commercial much like the Gatorade one, where a large crowd comes together to play Sidney. What keeps this from tipping over into nonsense is the truly epic backing music, which was commissioned for the commercial and was so popular that the songwriter went and wrote a full version.
Cheese Factor: It is dripping with so much cheese, it is a freaking fondue fountain. That music I mentioned is so aggressively Canadian that even Don Cherry was like, “Whoa, take it down a notch.” But that doesn’t keep it from being completely awesome.
How Many Tears: Not so much from me, but I know many people who find this commercial really emotional.
Effectiveness: It gets the idea of the competition across, it’s got a catchy song, it’s well-made–Tim Horton’s really knows how to make a good commercial.
Overall Rating: 9/10
I’ve watched this commercial a number of times trying to figure out if they meant this to be uplifting or not. I mean, it ends with Sidney saying that a life dedicated to hockey is a life well spent, but that’s after a montage of empty arenas with brooding music talking about he missed every major life event that most kids go through. Is this supposed to be motivating? A way for parents to tell their kids, “No, you don’t need to go to prom–Sidney Crosby didn’t go to prom”? I honestly find this commercial incredibly depressing.
Cheese Factor: Not too much, just the light dusting you get on top of pasta.
How Many Tears: A decent handful, as I muse over the strangeness of the junior hockey system and how hockey media beats down teenagers into soundbite machines devoid of personality.
Effectiveness: Extremely low. I do not want to buy Reebok after this, in fear that my social life will disappear completely.
Overall Rating: 4/10
The Sportchek commercials are not the strongest. They require the Penguins to act, for one thing, and the whole premise kind of confuses me. They seem like they work at Sportchek, yet they are clearly also the Penguins? What alternate world are we living in where the Penguins have to go buy their own equipment? (As a bonus, here is the French version of this commercial.)
The main selling point of this commercial is that it features the classic Crosby 😐 face, as also seen below:
To be honest, this feels like the beginning of a romantic comedy where she sees Sidney on TV later when watching with her nephew and is like holy shit! That’s the guy! And she’s so embarrassed that when she’s back there buying gloves and runs into him, she apologizes and probably drops coffee on him and then he takes off his shirt. Or something.
Cheese Factor: I’d argue that out of all the Sportchek commercials this is the cheesiest, and not only because it puts the woman in the uncomfortably stereotypical role of “not knowing she’s talking to a famous athlete.”
How Many Tears: None
Effectiveness: Idk, I guess I might want to go to Sportchek on the off-chance I’d run into Sidney working a shift.
Overall Rating: 3/10
NHL Cup Commercial
I’m really glad this didn’t remain a concept in the NHL playoff commercials. It’s kind of weird, and it’s asking a lot of the players in it. I can’t imagine what it must have felt like for Sidney to go in and do the recording for that, not to mention the whole “is this the year” thing feels a little like tempting fate. Of course, they did go on to win the next year, so perhaps it worked.
Cheese Factor: A picture coming alive and talking to you is very 80’s comedy, so I’m gonna say the cheese factor is on par with a deep dish pizza. There’s just so much to unpack.
How Many Tears: For me, a decent amount, thinking about how sad they must have been when that picture was taken and how it probably sucked to have to relive that. For people who aren’t Penguins/Sidney fans, probably less of the tears.
Effectiveness: It doesn’t have the sizzle or the punch of later NHL ads. It’s pretty staid and reminds me of cable TV ads, so I don’t think if it came on while I was just watching TV I would pay it any attention.
Overall Rating: 1/10
Don’t ask these poor Nova Scotia boys to act. It’s so hard for them.
Cheese Factor: Not too high, but the “self-loving athlete in a commercial” trope is in play here.
How Many Tears: A few tears of pain.
Effectiveness: I don’t know, I figure anyone who buys trading cards probably would know to buy them before watching this commercial.
Overall Rating: 2/10
This is one of those sentimental commercials I want desperately to hate because it’s so cloying and obviously meant to make me emotional, and yet I fall for their tricks, every time.
Cheese Factor: Pizza level. It’s part of the very concept, integral to its structure, and if removed would render it meaningless.
How Many Tears: Quite a lot! It is dirty pool hiring an actor to play a tiny Sidney Crosby. Frankly, any tiny hockey player commercial is playing dirty, because it inevitably ends with me screaming, “THEY GOT THEIR DREAM!!! THEY GREW UP INTO THEIR OWN HERO!!!” while sobbing.
Effectiveness: Eh, I’m on the fence. Like, it’s a cool commercial but I feel like it’s better suited for the NHL in general rather than jerseys, although I see what they were going for. Also I am very much not their target audience.
Overall Rating: 7/10
Ah, Canada. Known for hockey and farmers. Is this where the Brandon Wheat Kings get their name? I assume so.
Cheese Factor: So high. It’s very akin to those rustic ads in America featuring Budweiser or whatever. Look how manly and close to nature we are, they say, driving huge jeeps over a mountain. We are so freaking manly.
How Many Tears: None, unless you’re really moved by agriculture.
Effectiveness: I think if I were a mom, I’d use this commercial to convince my children to let me feed them Demster’s.
Overall Rating: 5/10
NHL Road Trip
Okay, technically this one isn’t really focused on Sidney, but who cares? This isone of the most iconic NHL commercials ever made. What isn’t to love? The Staals having a pillow fight, Ovi playing a prank, terrible acting all around — it’s what we’ve come to expect from these guys.
Cheese Factor: This is the equivalent of that bright orange cheese dust on Cheetoes: you know it’s bad for you but it’s so delicious.
How Many Tears: 4 – 5 tears of laughter
Effectiveness: I maintain that this is one of the best commercials the NHL has ever done, even considering the terrible acting. I think one of hockey’s main weaknesses when it comes to marketing is that, to be honest, our stars are pretty boring. This and the “Characters” playoff ad from a couple years ago showcase what few personalities we have in this league. It’s fun to see them like this, and pretty endearing.
Overall Rating: 9/10
Tim Horton’s makes gratuitous use of that interview of a preteen Sidney Crosby, and none are more offensive than this one, where they finish off a commercial featuring a small Sidney Crosby playing hockey with an adult Sidney repeating the idealistic and hopeful words he said as a child. See? You too can grow up to be the greatest player in the world.
Cheese Factor: So, so much. But the really expensive, fancy kind of cheese that you get at a swanky party when it’s on a platter with crackers and champagne grapes.
How Many Tears: ALL OF THEM. EVERY SINGLE TEAR EVER SHED BY MANKIND.
Effectiveness: I want to go to Tim Horton’s right now and buy a maple donut.
Overall Rating: 10/10