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BIG BRANDS PLAY SMART DURING NBA PLAYOFFS! by Victoria Manakis on June 28th, 2019

The Toronto Raptors achieved an outstanding milestone this past month, delivering Canadians their first-ever NBA Championship. With fans committed to travelling from the big city of Toronto, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and games full of intensity, tears and celebration, this year’s playoffs inspired a new generation of basketball fans at home and around the world. 

Fans weren’t the only ones jumping on the playoffs bandwagon this year! Some of our favourite everyday brands, like No Frills, Tim Hortons and Tangerine all joined in on the basketball-mania with their own unique marketing campaigns. Check out some of my favourite campaigns, below! 


NO FRILLS – Haul or Nothing


No Frills launched their ‘Haul or Nothing’ campaign during the 2019 NBA playoffs by marketing their recently-launched video game, Hauler: Aisles of Glory. The game allows users to simulate a No Frills shopping trip for a chance to win PC Optimum points. 

The ‘Haul or Nothing’ commercial strategically played during Raptors games, inserting No Frills into a competitive environment that fans are already connecting with. The campaign was also supported by social media posts using #WeTheNorth hashtags, ultimately producing a positive association with the brand for Raptors fans. Nice one, No Frills!


TIM HORTONS Courtside Seat A12 – Tim Hortons Presents Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia


“I hope people see why Canada is so special.” – Nav Bhatia

Tim Hortons did a wonderful job capturing the spirit and pride of Canadian fans in their ‘Courtside Seat A12’ commercial with Toronto Raptors superfan, Nav Bhatia. 

Needless to say, this advertisement resonates with Canadians alike. Anyone who has watched a Raptors game over the past 24 years has most likely noticed Nav sitting (or jumping in cheer) courtside. Nav has become the face of the Raptors superfan community, and Tim Hortons leveraged his commitment to reinforce values of diversity, loyalty and devotion. The ad clearly ties these values back to being Canadian, which in my opinion, was a great play on behalf of Tim Hortons, as it encourages unity and celebration. 


TANGERINE – Soothing Music: NBA Finals Edition



Big brands know that the NBA playoffs can be a stressful time for fans all around the world. To help ease the stress between those nail-biting free-throws, buzzer beaters and Steph Curry three-pointers, Tangerine launched their ‘Soothing Music: NBA Finals Edition’ commercial. 

The commercial is 29 seconds of pure relaxation, with messaging that acknowledges the stress associated with finals, and that Tangerine is here to help fans relax with a quick meditative exercise. 

The best part of this ad, is that it did not mention anything about Tangerine banking itself, but rather used that time to connect with target audiences and build positive relationships.

I can’t wait to see what’s in store for these big brands next!