It’s always fun when you have a chance to create a real “moment” for someone. Not a manufactured one, say a posed “grip and grab” photo with a famous celebrity where guests are hustled through the line quickly to get as many people through as you can. (Although those photos and autographs are typically cherished by those who get them.) But a real moment, where you know you’ve created a memory that someone will never forget.
We were lucky enough to help create some of these kinds of memories this past weekend. One of our clients hosted an event at an ice rink in West Chester, PA, where Philadelphia Flyers star Scott Hartnell “dropped in” unexpectedly during a typical Saturday hockey day at a VERY busy rink. While our client handed out seat cushions and engaged with mom and dad, Scott spent some time first skating around with 6 and 7 year olds in a clinic, and then giving a pep talk to some lucky 9 and 10 year olds before they took the ice for their game.
What really summed up the entire experience was when one of the kids pictured above took a step into the locker room, saw Scott and shouted “Holy S***! It’s Scott Hartnell!!” Talk about an unscripted moment! But it was a genuine one, and particularly for these kids. Their coach told us before the team came in that the kids were off to a slow start and a little discouraged. Well, the visit from Scott couldn’t have come at a better time. He shared with them how sometimes your team does struggle (as any Flyers fan can attest this season), but that you’ve got to keep giving it your all and know that better times lie ahead.
It was great watching Scott on the ice with the kids. Whether it was stopping one of his shots, feeding him for an assist, or getting fed for a goal, each one of the kids took home a special memory that I know they will never forget.
Often times as a marketer, we’re focused on making a sale, converting a customer, finding new leads. Saturday was all about creating positive impressions and brand affinity. I know we accomplished our goals, while also making a lot of kids (and their parents) happy. And that feels great.