TV advertising has led to significant profit increases for a number of companies offering sports betting services, who have attempted a variety of approaches to get their message across. Sky Bet play up the theatrical drama, whilst Paddy Power go for surreal comedy and Coral have tended to play up the technological advances in their betting software. Here are some of the most enjoyable and effective sports betting adverts.
BetVictor – Horse Racing
Whilst a number of sports betting adverts have irritated audiences when they meant to amuse (I’m looking at you, Betfred’s trumpeters adverts), BetVictor’s ad pairs company owner Victor Chandler with versatile comic actor Paul Kaye, to excellent effect. Though several different premises were shown throughout this campaign, they all focused on the idea of Bet Victor’s ‘best odds’ (an essentially meaningless, but popular sales message) being online. Maurice’s ridiculous attempts to find the best odds from Victor has been genuinely funny in each advert, but has always remained relevant to the core message of this TV ad campaign – that Bet Victor offer their best odds online, and that it’s easy to use.
Sky Bet – Nothing’s Certain
Over the past 23 years, Sky Sports cannot have been accused of playing down the importance and drama of sporting events, and their ‘Nothing’s Certain’ TV ad campaign played up the theatrical element of sport, as well as intelligently placing subtle hints towards the numerous markets they offered, in particular for football, by listing deciding factors for any game – “what if it isn’t over until it’s over?” (in-play betting on goals), “what if…the ref wants to play center stage?” (a flurry of yellow and red cards). The knowingly theatrical visuals add an extra layer to the ‘excitement’ factor of gambling which Sky Bet are tapping into. The final line of “Nothing’s certain, that’s why it’s exciting” sounds clunky and lacking in drama, but any advert, like any sports team, are bound to make a few mistakes in between grand achievements.
Betway – Sports House
A masterful, subtle and unique advert which is devilishly simple. The premise of the ‘Sports House’, where “you’ve never been so close to the action” is itself a subtle promise of the simplicity and immersive way of betting at Betway. Visually, it also manages to equate the excitement of betting as something almost sexual, as the man and woman flirt silently over the ice hockey, tennis and other sports, which suddenly appear in the house. Understated and excellent.
Ladbrokes – ManWave ProScalp
“FOOTBALL IS ON! FREE BET!”. The message is straightforward, but the execution keeps the viewer watching, and crucially, keeps them involved for long enough to continue watching until the sales message is reinforced at the close of the advert. Admittedly, for those not familiar with Chris Kamara, the lovably excitable pundit and former Premier League footballer, this might all seem a bit banal and childish, but a prominent sales hook (£50 free bet) and an elderly Italian man shouting at a naked Chris Kamara is brilliantly daft enough to make any football fan take notice.
Coral – Raising the Game
Whilst Ladbrokes’ began and ended with their financial benefit for the customer, and Sky Bet played on the theatrical drama of football, Coral’s simple and classically cool TV ad campaign pairs the evolution of sport with the evolution of their betting service. Whilst a football flies through the air, evolving from the stitched ball of the early 20th century to a lighter model, and now the sleekest football of all, Coral focus on how their evolution, similarly, has made things easier and more modern, with the simple message of “Sport has evolved. Betting has too.”. The hook of a £50 free bet is tucked in at the end, and probably deserves its own separate advert, because Coral’s modern service, not their offers, are the star of this advert.
Paddy Power – Relocation
In the law of diminishing returns, Paddy Power’s ‘[x] person wrote on our Facebook wall, here’s our ridiculous suggestions in support of your gripe with sport’ gag grew old quickly, and recent attempts have felt particularly stale (The Masters golf one was particularly dreadful). However, the first of these ads was fresh and funny. A man feeling bad about betting on his team is warned by Paddy Power, in increasingly ridiculous scenarios, that the lads will turn on him, he’ll have to move abroad, change his name, and support Athletico Kebab (whose team photo is interrupted by a turkey). It’s great, but whilst some ad campaigns have the power to spawn enjoyable versions on the same concept, this was a one-trick pony which has been dragged on for too long.
It is clear that sport betting adverts can be successful in a multitude of ways. The loyalty of fans can be manipulated towards creating a sense of inevitable triumph in betting, whilst other companies have released ads which appeal to the comedic side of sport, especially surreal comedy, like that used in the Paddy Power, BetVictor and Ladbrokes ads above. Technological advancements, meanwhile, was Coral’s primary sales promise. Each of these adverts sidesteps the controversial issues which surround betting, to produce TV advertising which is engaging, draws in customers and entertains enough to keep viewers watching until the main sales messages or product benefits are covered.