The CasinoPlay crew love a good ad. Whether it’s a stirring Nike ode to the human spirit or a super=sharp Nando’s ad, on Tv or on a huge billboard on the side of the road, a good ad makes us think or laugh or, sometimes, even groan.
With the advent of online casinos and the National Lottery in South Africa we are seeing a lot of adverts for gambling providers – and not many are very good. They all seem to be very low budget, graphic driven affairs with that famous South African voice actor (you know who he is, you’ll recognise the voice, and yes, he is excellent!) giving it the whole Hollywood teaser trailer vibe. But there’s no life. There’s no soul. There’s no … thrill.
So, we decided to have a search for some truly outstanding adverts from land-based casinos, online casinos, mobile casinos, bookies, and betting shops from around the world. Which means we fired up the ol’ ‘Tube and searched for the best casino and gambling ads out there.
Strangely enough, land-based casinos do not actually feature on our list. We saw some excellent casino ads in terms of cinematic quality, but they all seemed to be much of a muchness to us. We think we know why, and we’ve added our reasons at the end of the list.
A word of warning: some sites block viewing from outside their territory and some videos are ‘adult-themed’ and may be blocked if you have a child lock on your computer. And adult-themed refers to the sport of gambling being of an adult nature and not available to under-18s, not any dodgy skin-flicks or nudity!
We love this ad for showing how the online casino industry has stirred up the traditional casino industry (more on that later). It’s funny, it shows exactly what online offers and it pokes its thumb at the snooty land-based industry without being overly rude.
Paddy Power is a powerhouse (yes, we see it too) in the betting world. They’ve got a reputation for taking on any bet you could possibly imagine, from the name of a about-to-be-born Royal baby to the next Pope to when the world will end. It stands to reason that this irreverent brand would go all out with their ads and their stunts as well.
Paddy Power is often the centre of controversy for their stunts like their mobile billboard truck asking which MPs will be fired in the morning, sending a Mexican Mariachi band to welcome Donald Trump to his Scottish resort and their ‘chopping down trees in the Amazon to send the England Football team a message of support they can see from the aeroplane’.
And while a lot of their online and TV have been banned, they still have the power to pull some huge names to punt their brand as can be seen below with José “Mr. Special” Mourinho.
A local is lekker ad that has a touch of humour but is focussed more on what makes a gambler especially a sports gambler. This incredibly well produced ad shows us the passion of the true fan and the how they immerse themselves in their hobby and, along the way, use their expertise to make solid and educated choices when it comes to their bets and their teams. Well done SA!
What makes Paddy Power stand out, and why they have a deserved 2nd ad on our list, is their ability to tap into current affairs and concerns so quickly. This advert was released the day that VAR became a thing in soccer and features their usual tongue-in-cheek approach to fans’ ire and fury at the new tech in the beautiful game.
Our number 1 gambling ad!
This was an insanely controversial TV spot that was actually banned from being broadcast. Authorities decided that the ad portrayed gambling as “a reckless pursuit” and pulled the entire campaign. Thankfully, the Internet never forgets, and we must say we absolutely LOVE this ad!
Not only did it have us laughing out loud, but it also features an awesome South African flavour even though it’s for a UK bookie.
As mentioned in the opening to this article, we didn’t really find any outstanding land-based casino ads – probably for a very good reason.
Land-based casinos have a certain cachet, a certain air of opulence and prestige that they want to get across. Which means there’s no humour or drama. Everything is focused on a lifestyle: gorgeous women and handsome men, luxury fashion, supercars and yachts and private jets, fine dining.
Unfortunately, it all translates to the same visuals over and over. The beautiful people striding through (surprisingly well-lit) gambling floors, roulette wheels and champagne in the background, smug looking tossers at a card table, really weirdly excited ‘winners’ at the slot machine, lounging around pools – you know the scenes. Nowhere do we see an average Joe Schmoe in his cargoes and t-shirt, beer in plastic cup in hand, just ambling around checking out the slots or having a punt at the blackjack table.
Granted, the production values on these ads are generally very high quality and the setting suitable opulent and enticing and if we were all exclusively playing at the Casino de Monte Carlo or Casino Baden-Baden, I’d say fine. But casinos are for the people – show the people in your ads!
This is what makes online casino and bookies ads so great – they have nothing to prove. They can go out there and just be funny or irreverent or rude or just plain crazy! Because that’s what the online casino industry is: maverick, rebels, out to have fun and disrupt the casino industry.