In recent months, bet365 rapidly climbed the ranks of Ohio sportsbooks. The most recent revenue report from the Ohio Casino Control Commission has the U.K.-based platform third in betting handle.
In other words, bet365 Sportsbook Ohio is peaking. As they carry momentum into the start of the NFL season, the company began airing a new commercial.
The new ad featuring Breaking Bad actor Aaron Paul is part of bet365’s “Never Ordinary” global advertising campaign.
The new bet365 commercial hopes to bolster the U.K.-based gambling company’s status in the U.S.
bet365 has turned heads in the industry with its performance in the Ohio market. The online sportsbook used aggressive marketing and promo spending to spur its success. As a result, it is fourth in handle and revenue through its first seven months of Ohio sports betting.
New bet365 ad imagines curling becoming a global phenomenon
The new bet365 commercial premiered Sept. 7 at the beginning of Week 1 of the new NFL season. The opening scene is at a curling match. The player is getting set to throw “the final stone of the championship.” Paul appears in the crowd, looks at the camera, and says, “At bet365, we don’t do ordinary.”
“We believe every moment in sport should be epic,” Paul continues, as the thrown curling stone lightly bumps another stone. This is the best possible outcome, as fans in the packed stadium. Various other people watching on TV are shown erupting as if they’ve just seen a Super Bowl-winning field goal.
Pandemonium breaks out from that one big curling throw as mobs of people are shown flooding the streets. A broadcaster is shown on a Jumbotron in the middle of the celebratory chaos in the streets pondering, “Could this be the greatest moment in the history of sports?”
Betting on curling currently not permitted in Ohio
We then see that “curling fever has taken over the world.” Amateurs flock to try their skills at packed curling centers. Then, a fashion runway model sports curling-themed headgear and a woman gets a large curling stone tattooed on her back. Lastly, there’s suddenly a new breakfast cereal called “Curlos.”
Thousands of people are shown flocking to a huge curling stone monument in a generic city center, including Paul, who closes out the spot by saying:
“So whatever the sport, whatever the moment, it’s never ordinary at bet365.”
Curling, with its unusual “sweeping” action and glacial pace of play, is beloved in Canada. But in the U.S., it mostly gets attention during the Winter Olympics. And even then, it’s largely just made fun of by Americans.
Outside of the Winter Olympics, it’s difficult to find operators who offer curling betting markets. It’s currently impossible to bet on curling at Ohio sportsbooks. No curling associations or leagues are included in the state’s Event and Wager Catalogue.
‘Never Ordinary’ commercial to air in 24 countries
With the cinematic feel of a big-budget action film, the lively new 60-second bet365 commercial was created by U.K.-based advertising and digital marketing agency Drummond Central. The spot was filmed in Madrid, Barcelona and Los Angeles over 21 days, with a cast of over 1,000 actors, including 900 extras.
“bet365 wanted a fresh new look and feel, something we were fully on board with,” Desmond Central creative director Kevin Lynn said in a press release. “It’s a concept based on a brilliantly simple idea — any sport can have an amazing moment. We wanted every sport to feel as epic as the Premier League, NFL or NHL.”
“We are really excited to share ‘Never Ordinary’ with the world,” bet365’s Chief Marketing Officer Alex Sefton added. “It’s an exciting change for bet365 and one which celebrates our strengths and direction we’re heading in.”
The new “Never Ordinary” commercials are set to run in 24 countries. Variations of the commercial without Paul were also created for different markets worldwide. For example, the U.K. version of the ad switches to British-accented actors and voiceovers. It debuted at the start of Premier League play in early August,
A streamlined version of the commercial edited for social media advertising leaves out a lot of the bombast and focuses more on features of the bet365 app. In that ad, Paul talks up the sportsbook’s new-user promo offering $365 in bonus bets when you bet $1 (which is arguably the most rewarding Ohio sports betting promo out there right now) as well as bet365’s frequent odds boost offers.
New ads replace divisive previous bet365 campaign
Part of the “fresh new look and feel” creative director Lynn was referring to was shifting away from the muted tone of bet365’s earlier commercials.
Previously, many Ohioans likely first heard about bet365 via its green-tinted commercials. They featured Paul swirling around what appears to be the inside of a giant computer. In the Matrix-like ads (inspired by a similar bet365 U.K. campaign starring British actor Ray Winstone), Paul largely recites sports and betting types the sportsbook offers.
The previous ads received significant airplay in Ohio and led to a lot of ridicule on social media. Multiple threads feature fans annoyed by Paul’s disassociated delivery on Reddit. One user said they were so sick of the commercials that they didn’t think they could watch Breaking Bad again.
One Twitter/X user said the frequency of the commercials had him “starting to wish they killed off Jesse Pinkman in (season one) of Breaking Bad as intended.”
Will bet365 be able to duplicate Ohio success in new markets?
Still, the previous ad campaign was launched in the U.S. in 2020 and helped raise brand awareness of bet365. That played an integral part in the sportsbook’s Ohio success.
Following success in markets around the world, it made its entry into the U.S. in 2019. It launched in New Jersey. Aside from Ohio, bet365 has launched in Colorado, Virginia and Iowa.
With bet365 set to expand into Arizona, Pennsylvania and Kentucky, many are watching the sportsbook closely to see if its so-far successful strategy in Ohio can be duplicated in other states.
High promotional spending fueled bet365 Ohio success
In the first seven months of Ohio sports betting, bet365 handled $243 million in bets. It recorded revenue north of $40 million.
Those numbers are beaten only by FanDuel Sportsbook Ohio, DraftKings and BetMGM Sportsbook Ohio. and are better than the on-the-year numbers put up by Caesars Sportsbook and Barstool Sportsbook. bet365 has regularly been beating BetMGM in monthly revenue reports. Thus, it’s possible it could be a top 3 sportsbook in Ohio by year’s end.
During the early days of the Ohio launch, bet365 spent a ton on promotional offers. It is the main driver of their Ohio success. In March, bet365’s $17 million promotional spend was nearly double that of Ohio market leaders FanDuel and DraftKings.
Like its competitors, the promo spending dropped off during the summer sports betting slump months. Still, in July, bet365 spent the third most on promotions among all Ohio sportsbooks.
With its current extremely generous “bet $1 get $365 in bonus bets” welcome offer, it’s clear that, like the other big operators in the market, bet365 is returning to its high-spending ways as the NFL season marks the return to generally higher sports betting volume.