Blogs & Comment

Alexander Ovechkin goes Big

Is the Washington Capitals star the best NHLer in advertising?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFSIWeeUXeM&rel=0

Marketing has long featured pro athletes and hockey players are no exception. But while many all-stars’ acting chops have been safely limited to a simple one-liner and a smile (e.g. Gretzky and Crosby), Alexander Ovechkin has quietly become the best NHLer in advertising.

Cadbury this week announced a deal naming the Washington Capitals captain as the face for its new Mr. Big chocolate bar campaign. The spots are typical candy “oddvertising” but unique in that they star a world-class athlete and not, say, a prancing little lad. Unsurprisingly, Ovechkin pulls it off.

See, the gap-toothed goal scorer got off to a rocky start in the ad game—perhaps following Mario Lemieux’s lead with a bizarre local car dealer commercial—but quickly turned things around last year with a series of quirky spots for Reebok CCM that featured his decapitated head’s crazy-person/evil genius laugh, and a turn for ESPN’s SportsCenter that pegged him as a Russian spy.

The Mr. Big campaign contest‘s grand prize is a two-hour hangout with Ovechkin either at the front row at Washington Fashion Week, a restaurant dinner, video game session, or having a home-cooked meal at his house. No word on any nunchuk lessons.