Clever ... and clearly not Henrik Zetterberg.
The "Zetterberg" in the video would be Jacob Hawkins, a New York-based actor who has appeared on "As The World Turns" and bears more than a passing resemblance to 'Z' (as he does actor Peter Krause, according to MovieFreak.com). He sent us an email last night chronicling the backstory behind this project with friend, director and Detroit native Greg DeLiso: Basically, they both think the NHL marketing campaigns stink and are going viral with their "Day in the Life of Zetterberg" clips in an attempt to get the League's attention.
Coming up, the inside story on the video and a chat with Hawkins about how a professional thespian approaches the critical role of Henrik Zetterberg ... and how it can land you babes.
First, here's the email we received (and clearly we weren't the only ones) from Jacob about the video's origins:
"OK. So here's the deal. A few months ago my friend Greg, a Detroit native, and I were sitting around, hanging out when he remarked how much I really look like Henrik Zetterberg. I had heard this a few times before but neither of us had really put much thought into it. About a week or so later, I had an idea while riding the subway. You see, Greg and I both live in NYC, I'm an actor and he's a filmmaker. It dawned on me that we should shoot something with me as Zetterberg...
"The more the two of us talked, the more we figured out that we both had problems with the current NHL marketing campaign, and who better to come up with some new commercials than us. So, we set off scripting a series of commercials, storyboarding them with artist friends of ours, putting together presentation packets, and then shooting and editing several commercials. We created an entire advertising campaign for NHL. Once we had all of our stuff put together we realized that we needed to get our stuff to them...
"Well, the first part turned out to be the easy part. Using just about every connection we had, we ended up getting the material to a few people who said they would "pass it along" at the NHL. Well, as many of us know, rarely does this make for a sure bet.
"After a few weeks, we again came to another realization. If you want to get someone's attention, it's a lot easier if you have a thousand, or ten thousand, or a hundred thousand people with you.
"SO HERE WE ARE, we want to bring it to the people. LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE! If the people think it works, then a message will get sent to the NHL that IT DOES WORK!
"This is our first video made specifically for the playoff run to the Stanley Cup. The concept involves a hapless Zetterberg doppelganger going about his daily life in hockey gear. YES, FULL UNIFORM! He eats, sleeps, and bathes like this. The follow up commercials we are planning to release soon include going on a job interview, fighting pollution, taking a guitar lesson and many more to come. With a little help, we will be able to show the NHL the full scope of our campaign which goes far beyond just Zetterberg and the Redwings.
"This is us, the little guy, average Joe, David. Not trying to take down Goliath, but just trying to let him know that we are here. That sometimes to find out what the people want, you should just go to the people. We know what we like.
"Thank you. Go Zetterberg! Go Redwings! Go HOCKEY!"
GO MEAT! Sorry, eating Hillshire Farms for lunch ...
We're dying to see the job interview commercial, and support this effort for that aim alone. Well, that and they're pretty darn funny, too.
The backstory established, we grabbed Hawkins for two quick questions this morning about Being Zetter:
Q. From your acting tool box, what are the essential skills and motivations necessary to effectively play Henrik Zetterberg, and is there any method acting involved?
HAWKINS: There is not really any particular "method," involved but as we shot more of the episodes (we shot four others that we will release soon) it became much more important for me to stay very focused. At first it was really just us trying to figure out what was funny, and how to do it with out going overboard. The more that we shot outside and the more I reacted with people -- on the street, stores, other actors -- I really wanted to focus and get across the idea that this is normal. I wear these pads every second of every day ... so when they make a big deal, I become sort of confused on why.
(Ed. Note: At this point we realized we were talking to a professional actor, and felt a little bad because the question was a complete goof. We should have known better, having seen enough "Inside the Actors' Studio" to know that there is never going to be a sardonic answer to any question that involves the words "acting tool box" and "method.")
Q. Zetterberg has one of the most smokin'-est hottest hockey girlfriends in the NHL. Any thoughts on using this resemblance to entrap a mate?
HAWKINS: Well, that was actually, I think, the first thing that Greg ever mentioned. I should try and pick up chicks. Of course, I need to find hockey-loving chicks, and probably in the Detroit area. I have thought about trying my luck in Sweden. After all, chicks dig a man in uniform.
(Ed. Note: At this point, we realized we were talking to a professional actor, because his thoughts on picking up dames has laser-like focus and clarity.)
So there you go: The viral ad campaign of the Stanley Cup playoffs, and how it happened. Now go to YouTube, support the hell out of it, and get these boys an NHL commercial gig.