DraftKings bets big on first-ever in-house campaign as NFL season looms
The NFL is just 15 days away from entering its 100th season. For fans, that means another chance to root for their favorite team to go deep into the playoffs or win it all come Super Bowl Sunday. At least, that’s one aspect of what the NFL means to fans.
For others, it’s about the thrill that comes along with winning big cash, something DraftKings wants to capitalize on with its first-ever in house ad campaign for TV, out-of-home and digital. “This is our Black Friday,” DraftKings Chief Marketing Officer Tom Goedde says on the latest edition of Ad Age's Marketer's Brief podcast. “It is a clear No. 1. It drives a vast majority of the $2 billion in payouts that we’ve actually already have had this year.”
DraftKings had worked with a number of agencies for its previous ad campaigns – most recently Deutsch New York – but opted to bring creative in-house so the company could be more agile, says Goedde. “We were really challenged in keeping up with the speed of our sports content – whether that’s the latest trade, injury, odds line changing or a competitive offer we want to match quickly,” he says. “I put the challenge to our creative team that I want TV-quality creative turned around in 24 hours and I want digital turned around in 15 minutes.”
One spot – dubbed “Making it Reign” – plays on the thrill of victory and agony of defeat by showing how real-world users reacted to winning or losing in actual tournaments that DraftKings had previously hosted across the country (see below).
“It’s an emotional rollercoaster,” Goedde says in regards to winning and losing money. “You have to feel the lows to feel the highs, otherwise, when you win a game it feels a lot less.”
Goedde, a former marketing executive with the Madden video game franchise, says DraftKings wants to reposition itself with its future marketing as not just a betting website, but a lifestyle brand. The latest spots are an attempt at “cultivating the emotional connection to the brand that has not been prioritized in the past,” he says. “It’s about eventually bringing this around as a lifestyle brand and less of transactional experience.”
Generally speaking, DraftKings is known as a “daily fantasy sports” betting site, or “DFS.” Users enter tournaments ranging from playing against one person to thousands of people, and are given an equal budget to pick players at each skill position – quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end – and so on. Depending on how those players perform on game day determines how many points they receive. And the user with the most points wins the pot.