Cardboard Wayne Gretzky A Stand-Up Guy In Mobile Mini TV Campaign
Wednesday, May 16, 2012 at 09:11AM in Ad Campaigns, Wayne Gretzky, advertising, sports marketing

By Barry Janoff

May 16, 2012: Hockey legend Wayne Gretzky — actually, a life-size cardboard cutout of "The Great One" from his Edmonton Oilers days — plays a key role in new campaign from Mobile Mini, a leading provider of portable storage solutions, long-distance moving services and secure storage centers.

The campaign focuses on a couple who are in the midst of a major move, deciding which possessions to take or toss out. The commercial, "Wayne," will air during the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs and on such shows as Dancing with the Stars, Law & Order SVU, Glee, Billboard Music Awards, The Big Bang Theory and America’s Got Talent.

The commercial will also be featured on a variety of shows on Hulu.

Tempe, Az.-based Mobile Mini said 30- and 60-second versions of "Wayne" would run in Phoenix, Denver, Jacksonville, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Austin and San Diego. It was described as "the beginning of a fully integrated marketing effort as we expand our footprint nationally," by Pete Buchner, Mobile Mini’s vp-marketing.

Lead agency is Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco.

The spot opens with the couple wrapping valuables to place in a Mobile Mini moving storage unit. The woman is focusing on heirlooms, framed family photos and furniture, while the guy is concerned with his Gretzky cardboard figure. "If she thinks I'm leaving this, she has another thing coming," he grumbles as he secures the item for moving. "Wayne's been with me since college."

The next day, the man finds Wayne in the trash, so he pulls it out and repacks it in the storage container. That night, his wife again tosses it out, only to find it repacked once again the next day. Ultimately, when the guy again tries to pack Wayne for the move, he finds his wife sitting in the storage container with a buzz saw. The next shot finds the guy trying to reattach Gretzky's cardboard head to the rest of his body.

See the full spot here.

“The increasing demand from our customers and prospects requesting off-site storage and long-distance moving services was the catalyst behind expanding our product offerings,” Buchner said in a statement. “Through several research studies, we’ve found consumers are increasingly frustrated with the lack of service and the hassles they experience with long-distance movers and self-storage companies."

According to Buchner, the campaign highlights Mobile Mini as the "answer to consumers and businesses searching for convenient, affordable and secure moving and storage solutions. This is just the beginning of a fully integrated marketing effort as we expand our footprint nationally.”

Gretzky retired in 1999 after a Hall of Fame career in which he became the NHL's all-time scoring leader (894 goals, 1963 assists). He played for the Oilers from 1979-88; he became part owner of the Phoenix Coyotes in 2000 and in 2005 was also head coach. He left both positions in 2009 when the franchise filed for, and eventually emerged from, bankruptcy.

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