Sports betting is hugely popular in Australia, unfortunately bookmakers have to advertise.
Australian media and pop culture don’t get a lot of attention in the rest of the world, even in English-speaking countries. Sure, some Australian actors have hit it big (think Russell Crowe, Nicole Kidman and Heath Ledger), and a few music acts have made it off the island (AC/DC, Kylie Minogue), but most of us don’t pay it much attention.
• 70 percent of Australians participated in some form of betting in 2010
• The online betting and gambling industry paid roughly $100 million in taxes in 2010
• Horseracing, cricket and football are the most popular sports to bet on in Australia
You may want to start. Gambling, especially online sportsbooks in Australia are a big business. Bettors put down big money every year on events like horseracing, cricket, and football. A government report found that over 70 percent of the population participated in some form of gambling in 2010, and that the online gambling and betting industry contributed $100 million in taxes the same year.
More interesting than the industry itself is the way in which bookmakers advertise. Australian gambling and betting ads often provide better entertainment than anything coming out of Hollywood these days. We use the word entertainment in the cheekiest possible sense. Many of the ads are unforgettable. But because they are atrocious, not because they are good. This piece runs through some of the worst ads we’ve seen come out of Australia. It wasn’t originally intended to cover only horse betting ads. But in the process of researching I discovered that Australian horse betting ads are the lowest form of expression known to mankind. The ads aren’t in any particular order, but it’s clear that some are less terrible than others.
1) Might be decent if it weren’t for the horse heads
This ad for Ladbrokes Australia horse betting is a play on the Great Gatsby. It takes us to the “Online Bookmakers Ball” held in a mansion full of women in flapper costumes and men dressed in sharp suits. The topic of conversation is the mysterious Mr. Ladbrokes. Says one woman: “He’s here! Ladbrokes!”
“Isn’t he the one doubling the odds?”
“Yes, turning six dollars into twelve dollars!”
The crowd bursts into Mr. Ladbroke’s private room. We expect to see a handsome man resembling Robert Redford or Leonardo DiCaprio. What we get is: two suited men wearing plastic horse heads. Really?
The 1920s flapper vibe was cool, the ad seemed to have a lot of potential. I get that it’s a horse betting ad. What I don’t get is why they had to go and blow it with plastic horse heads. The worst part, this is by far the best ad on this list.
2) Sex, with a vague allusion to betting thrown in
This is a race betting ad from Canbet, whom is notorious for putting out bad ads. When you think about the demographic of who actually places bets, the bookie may be smarter than we realize. Those whom bet on sports in Australia are overwhelmingly men between the ages of 18 and 40. The same demographic which is most responsive to sexual advertising.
To the ad itself. A chubby, glasses-wearing nerd lays in his bed giggling. You’d be happy too. In the next frame two beautiful blondes appear from under the covers. Punch line: “Daily Double.”
Canbet closes the ad with their slogan “Canbet Gets Racing.” From this ad, we aren’t sure how much they exactly know about racing. What we do know is that Canbet gets how to market betting to males under the age of 30 who probably spend most of their free time in front of a computer screen.
3) Put sex in your ad and people will do whatever you want
The last ad reminded us what we already knew: that sex sells. Why shouldn’t it? While other forms of gambling, including Australian internet casinos, utilize it in their marketing schemes, it is especially prevalent in sports betting. But usually the actual product is buried somewhere underneath all of the sex. This ad from Canbet buries it so deep that it doesn’t appear to exist.
A passenger on an airplane follows a sexy blonde flight attendant into the bathroom. You know the rest, it’s the age-old mile high club bit which is so popular in movies and TV shows. They have passionate, loud sex. She moans while a male flight attendant knocks on the door.
And… that’s it. “Canbet gets racing.” From this ad, it seems that Canbet only gets people having sex in airplane bathrooms. Well, at least the ad has sex.
4) Not funny, not sexy, just stupid
This ad from Unibet stooped so low as bring masturbation into the horse betting conversation. Even considering the prime betting demographic, it is just plain lame.
We have two 20-ish guys standing shoulder-to-shoulder in the woods playing around with something off-camera and below the belt. Says the first guy: “I only have to use one hand.”
Other guy: “I could use one hand, but didn’t want it to hit the ground.”
The camera moves downward and reveals the two guys placing bets on tablet devices. Unibet, “The most fun you can have with your hands.”
Cool, Unibet offers mobile betting. Thanks for the info. But really, they could have done a bit better than an infantile masturbation joke. The punch line is the icing on the cake. This is the worst ad we’ve ever seen.