New theScore Bet Advertising Campaign Skips Celebrity Component

New theScore Bet Advertising Campaign Skips Celebrity Component
By Mark Keast
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Last week, the big news was the announcement by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario that it was changing the Advertising Standards and banning athletes from appearing in advertising and marketing for Ontario online casinos.

Standards around the use of celebrities, at least those deemed likely to appeal to minors, were also strengthened, according to a statement from the AGCO.

Industry reaction was highlighted by confusion: Who is the arbiter of that?

As one industry source told “They seem to paint with an awfully wide brush. How is it possible to say ‘social influencers’ are part of the restriction? How exactly is a social influencer defined? Is it follower count? Is it content? Is it follower demographics?”

Hence the need for more clarity from the AGCO, which is apparently coming.

That’s what makes the new fall campaign from theScore Bet Ontario Sportsbook, released this week, interesting. With this much uncertainty about what’s acceptable and what isn’t with iGaming ads, perhaps it’s the best strategy to remove celebrities altogether.

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Aim Of New theScoreBet Ad Campaign

That is what theScore Bet has done. 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.

Last year theScore Bet ran a series of television ads featuring celebrities Jon Lovitz, Russell Peters, and Patrick J. Adams for the company’s Ontario sports betting app.

“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, 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.”

As well as television commercials, the campaign also includes digital and out-of-home assets. The Ontario sportsbooks operator worked in tandem with Toronto-based marketing agency Diamond on the campaign. The spots were directed by comedy veterans The Director Brothers, Ryan McNeely and Josh Martin.



Mark Keast has recently covered the sports betting industry in Canada for The Parleh, and is a long-time sportswriter and editor, most notably with the Toronto Sun.

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