With Ontario’s new rules around igaming ads and banning the use of athletes, soon those Connor McDavid and Wayne Gretzky BetMGM ads will be off the airwaves on televisions in Ontario households. Others that viewers have grown accustomed to will follow.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the provincial regulator, said in late August that as well as banning athletes, Advertising Standards have also been strengthened to restrict the use of celebrities “who would likely be expected to appeal to minors.”
More clarity from the AGCO about the new rules is expected before restrictions take effect on Feb. 28, so operators can best comply.
In the meantime, the fall campaign from theScore Bet is a sign of things to come. With uncertainty about what is and isn’t acceptable in igaming advertising, perhaps it’s the best strategy to remove celebrities altogether, which is what theScore Bet has done here.
Last year, the operator made a mark with a series of “Get into Bet Mode” ads featuring comedians Jon Lovitz, Russell Peters, and Gerry Dee, and actor Patrick J. Adams. They were highly produced and entertaining.
There won’t be any celebrities this time. The two new 30-second commercial spots play up the combined media and betting experience via theScore’s sports data and analysis and the technology behind theScore Bet, so people can make informed bets in a more streamlined experience. That’s the message.
The television commercials, as well as the digital and out-of-home assets, were produced by Toronto-based marketing agency Diamond. The spots were directed by comedy veterans the Director Brothers, Ryan McNeely and Josh Martin.
“While the industry was aware that changes might be pending, this was a decision made because we felt it was the right creative direction for the campaign,” said Aubrey Levy, senior vice president of content and marketing for theScore. “Celebrity has never been a prerequisite in our campaign ideation. When we’ve used talent previously, it was always in support of the campaign message, rather than the primary focal point. So as we decided to focus this campaign more on a comparison of our differentiated value proposition versus the category, creatively, celebrity didn’t fit as well to support the strategy.”
Levy said the campaign supports one of their core product differentiators: the “synched-up” media and betting experience.
“Our view is that when media is integrated with betting the right way, it provides for an enhanced and improved user experience,” he added. “Using familiar creative elements, these spots highlight how our products bring media and betting together in one intelligent ecosystem, ultimately differentiating us from other offerings.”