CSNC sends message in new ‘Fans Best Friend’ spots

Jonathan Toews in scene from new Comcast campaign

It might not have been fully apparent in Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s joke-filled “Fan’s Best Friend”-themed advertising to date.

But the message is clear — very clear — in the new CSNC fall advertising campaign from JacobsonRost/Chicago that breaks Friday:  CSNC wants to be THE place to turn to in Chicago for complete professional sports coverage.  The tag line for the campaign continues to be “Fan’s Best Friend.”

Yes, there were yucks galore in previous TV advertising efforts for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.  But the first two TV spots in this new push take a more hard-edged approach that suggests the local cable sports channel means business in its coverage of local pro sports teams.

To underscore that serious point, the new spots have more of a black-and-white feel, though there is color imagery throughout each commercial.

Blackhawks’ Toews talks about his brutal training regime

One commercial, titled “Toews,” features Chicago Blackhawks team captain Jonathan Toews talking about his passion for the game of hockey and his brutal training regimen that has involved performing suicide sprints “until my blisters had blisters.”  Ouch!

But the new “Toews” spot is not without a touch of wry humor as all his talk about the sport and his fierce training finally leads to the surprising revelation of his heretofore unspoken desire to be on “the show.”  That show, it turns out, is “SportsNet Central,” CSNC’s nightly sports roundup show.

A second new CSNC spot called “Tooth” also has a Blackhawks theme. It talks about how “SportsNet Central” brings you so close to the game that you almost feel as if you were sitting center ice.

If one were any closer to the action, the spot says, one could possibly lose a tooth. As that assertion is made, we see images of Blackhawk players Michael Frolik and Bryan Bickell, who indeed look to be missing some teeth.

Another spot to come in the new round of TV advertising features a welder wearing a Blackhawks goalie mask as his protective head gear. 

Yet another shows a Blackhawks fan waking up to the screeching sound of a “goal scored” lamp on his bedside table.
With so much uncertainty still surrounding the new NBA season, it made sense for Comcast SportsNet to focus its advertising on the Blackhawks instead.

The new TV spots will be supported with print, radio, online advertising and out-of-home work.

The entire campaign, according to CSNC vice-president of marketing Jaclene Tetzlaff, is geared to pound home one message to sports fans:  “Our goal was, and continues to be, to let our viewers know that we are here for them 24/7 by providing the most complete local coverage of games and sports news available anywhere.”

Comcast’s website is being revamped this weekend

Also, fans of Comcast SportsNet Chicago’s Web site should be advised an overhauled and updated site is scheduled to debut this weekend.

The revamped site will indicate that the local sports outlet is now part of the NBC Sports Group, following NBC Universal’s merger with Comcast last winter.  Among other things the revised Web site will integrate CSCN’s familiar local coverage with a localized version of NBCSports.com’s “Talk” franchise.

But the new ties that now exist between Comcast’s local cable sports operation and NBC’s sports coverage on its WMAQ-Channel 5 station are not telegraphed in the “Fan’s Best Friend” campaign debuting Friday.

Contact Lewis Lazare at LewisL3@aol.com.