Betfair Axes Dog Branding to Stay in Complaint Against Gambling Ad Regulations
To meet new gambling regulations from the Advertising Practices Committee (APC), Betfair Casino has removed its dog-themed branding and replaced it with a mascot inspired by Only Fools and Horses.
On October 1, CAP introduced new advertising rules that prohibit the use of marketing “strongly appealing to those under 18 or [could] be associated with youth culture. This includes celebrities popular with young people, images of video games and animals after the regulator said they had a strong appeal to children.
This put Betfair Casino’s two-year-old marketing campaign featuring dogs at risk of breaking the new rules. To stay ahead of the game, Betfair eliminated all of its existing marketing that used animals and set about developing a compliant replacement.
With a nod to 80s sitcom character Del Boy (not rooted in youth culture), Betfair introduced Brett Flair, a singing London market salesman.
Betfair has worked with long-time partner Pablo to help solve the regulatory conundrum. Pablo’s chief strategy officer, Chris Turner, said: “There was no dry eye when regulations sent our creative dog vehicle to doggie heaven.”
But Turner says it was Pablo’s responsibility to help Betfair Casino stand out while “navigating the choppy waters of tighter restrictions”.
Turner previously explained to The Drum the challenge of developing regulation-secured campaigns for Betfair’s recent “Finger Ball” campaign. “It’s a fine line between creating entertainment and trying to do what advertising needs to do to capture someone’s attention, but not going overboard and breaking regulations,” he said. stated at the time.
Speaking of Brett Flair’s design, Turner says he “enjoyed the challenge” and eventually came up with an asset of his own for Betfair that the dogs couldn’t do.
Describing its new mascot, Betfair said: “Imagine if a UK market stall vendor had a baby with the greatest Vegas entertainer of all time, then that offspring would be Brett Flair.” Born and raised on the streets of Camden and dressed in a Del Boy-inspired sheepskin coat and gold medallion, Betfair says he aims to “bring a little style into your everyday life”.
The first spots to use Brett will consist of two 30-second television commercials promoting Spin Til you Win and Prize Pinball Jackpot slot games. The commercials feature Brett singing his own version of The Backstreet Boys’ I Want It That Way. Radio and digital outdoor (DOOH) ads and referral IDs will support TV ads, as well as social content and digital activity.
Mad Cow Films produced the spots, with Simon Cole directing and Jam Studios doing post-production. Wave Studios created the jingle.