NHL All-Star game commercial changes Raleigh skyline, moves RBC Center

23 Jan

I saw a side of downtown Raleigh tonight that I’ve never seen before, and chances are you haven’t either. There’s a new commercial on TV advertising this weekend’s All-Star NHL game in Raleigh, NC that makes our downtown seem a lot bigger (and more snowy) than it really is. The commercial is by the VERSUS channel.

Here’s a screengrab of the clip:


Now, if you’ve never been here, and you saw this commercial you might think the RBC Center (where the All-Star game will go down) is smack dab in the center of downtown. You might also think there are a lot more skyscrapers downtown than there really are. Certainly our tallest building, the RBC Plaza, could look small depending on the perspective of the shot, but the fact that there are other unidentifiable buildings towering over it is pretty amusing.

rbc with text

In reality (as we Triangle residents know), the RBC Center ┬áis about six miles away from downtown. And the 32-story RBC Plaza, the downtown skyscraper with the 130 foot spire on top, is the tallest building in downtown Raleigh. Some of the buildings in the commercial don’t even exist in downtown Raleigh (or if they do, the producer certainly has taken some liberties with them in the shot). Here’s what Raleigh’s skyline really looks like:

Flickr photo by twbuckner

Flickr photo by twbuckner

Watch the commercial for yourself (the Raleigh clip is at the 18-second mark):

VERSUS 2011 NHL All-Star Game ad from Greg Wyshynski on Vimeo.

I hardly think any first-time Raleigh visitors traveling here for the game even noticed this clip. And even if they did, I’m sure it probably won’t alter their perception of our city. Still, it’s interesting to see how the Versus network reshaped our skyline.

8 Responses to “NHL All-Star game commercial changes Raleigh skyline, moves RBC Center”

  1. Marshall Sherard KE4ZNR January 23, 2011 at 8:26 pm #

    Great set of eyes to catch all this Ginny! :)

    Great write up! I just hope everyone that comes to our beloved Capital City from abroad will have a great time while here!
    Of course I am obligated to also say GO CANES! And Staal #1!! :)

  2. Eric Frederick January 24, 2011 at 6:22 am #

    Great eye, Ginny. Love this. Give Versus credit for doing what the Raleigh and NCSU people couldn’t … putting the arena where it should have been all along. Let’s see if some other journalists pick up on this.

  3. Sonja Foust January 24, 2011 at 7:33 am #

    How odd… and creative? ;) I wonder if they did that to all the cities, or just Raleigh?

  4. John Martin January 24, 2011 at 9:55 am #

    Hi Ginny. I’m kind of surprised you didn’t take more of an ethics question point of view on this. You seem much more casual about it than I’d've expected. (And that’s not a value statement at all. I’m not saying your take is good or bad, it’s just not what I expected.)

    Having (fairly) recently had a photo taken of me to put with an article I wrote, the photographer totally Photoshopped out my stubble, as if it were an annoying nuisance that I didn’t bother to shave for his picture, when to me, my stubble is part of my identity. (Sounds silly, and probably is, but that’s another discussion for another day.)

    So, to that end, I’m fairly appalled by this “rearrangement” of our geography. :-)

  5. Sam M-B January 24, 2011 at 1:39 pm #

    Leave it to an article on the ethics of an ad campaign to get John and me talking hockey after 10 years of knowing each other.

  6. Brian McDonald January 25, 2011 at 6:07 am #

    Interesting take. The comment I find most interesting is Eric’s saying that the arena should have been built downtown. I actually worked on some of the initial research to build the stadium when I was attending NCSU. Many people do not realize that the arena was originally going to be called Centennial Center in honor of the 100 year anniversary of the university (1988). The major push to built it was the Men’s basketball program. There was never any discussion of a hockey team until after 1990 when Steve Stroud got on board and claimed that we needed a pro hockey team to make the building happen. Also if you lived and worked downtown back then (which I did), there was nothing downtown after 5 pm. I knew several restaurant and store owners that went broke trying to keep customers after business hours. Downtown was not the same as it was today and to say it should have been built downtown in 1990 you would have been crazy and laughed at.

  7. Jason Hibbets January 25, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    I saw this commercial the other day and had to rewind it several times to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. Even my wife noticed it was only partially Raleigh.

    Great post, sorry the N&O didn’t give you the proper credit (according to Twitter).


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  1. Tweets that mention NHL All-Star game commercial changes Raleigh skyline, moves RBC Center | Ginny from the Blog -- Topsy.com - January 23, 2011

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ginny Skalski, Ryal Curtis, John Lane, Adam Kincaid, Roger Friedensen and others. Roger Friedensen said: Gr8. They feel they have to lie @Raleigh RT @WarmTV: RT @GinnySkal: Versus NHL All-Star game ad doctors Raleigh skyline http://bit.ly/gM9Xvw [...]

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