Armchair sports geniuses, what have you done with all those brilliant prophesies you’ve made about your favorite teams? Have your soothsaying abilities stopped at showing off at parties or the pub, when you could have easily channeled your talents into securing your own good fortune? Gambling brand Tipico depicts in sharp relief the pain of not taking advantage of your sports knowledge in a U.S. launch campaign that likens the sports bettor to a star athlete who fails to realize his potential.
Created out of Opinionated, a humorously dramatic ad zeroes in on a lone, football diehard. As he sits solo in a dark stadium, the spot lays bare his internal dialogue, recounting how he predicted that kicker’s game-deciding move, the Green Bay Packers’ 2011 Super Bowl win and the Kansas City Chiefs’ biggest-ever comeback against the Texans.
The camera captures his intense passion for the sport as we see him leaping, biting his knuckles and raising his arms to cheer for his team’s victories—and then, his intense regret when he realizes those wins didn’t extend to his own.
"You knew,” the voiceover chides—yet the fan did nothing about it.
Keith Gormley, head of U.S. marketing at Tipico says the company tapped Opinionated for the launch because “we needed an agency with big conceptual ideas and elite sports brand experience but that also truly understands the digital space.” Opinionated’s leadership includes Wieden + Kennedy vets Mark Fitzloff, founder, and President Trish Adams.
Gormley explains that the company’s goal for the push was to make its brand intensity a key differentiator as it entered the U.S. market.
“Research shows that betting literally increases the intensity of watching sports,” says Opinionated Strategy Director Dave Daines. “Most brands in the U.S. have tried to soften this and make it more friendly. We saw an opportunity to treat sports fans like athletes because when you place a bet you become more emotionally involved in the outcome of the game like an athlete.”
The campaign ultimately speaks to the more serious bettors and fans, adds Opinionated Founder Fitzloff. “The idea is anchored in the tagline ‘Let’s Make This Interesting,’ which is vernacular for making something more intense or serious, usually by putting something valuable on the line,” he says. Thus, the focus on the extreme fan: “This guys feels the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, just like a pro. And the worst defeat of all is the regret of not actually competing with high stakes. That’s the regret he’s wrestling with.”
For the brand, breaking into the States poses some unique challenges. For one, there’s its name. “In Germany, a ‘tip’ is a bet, so the name literally means ‘BetCo’ in Europe,” says Daines. In the U.S., however, you can imagine consumers easily confusing the name with other things, like a restaurant gratuity app or even water brand Topo Chico.
Moreover, Tipico will also have to contend with regulations on gambling advertising in the U.S., which vary depending on the state. Opinionated Account Director Nick Larkin says that the campaign is currently running in digital, social and on connected TV and streaming audio in New Jersey, ad the work will expand as the brand grows state-by-state.