BCLC takes it all off to promote its safe betting option, PlayNow Sports

Who: BCLC’s PlayNow Sports; with One Twenty Three West for strategy and creative; Radke for production (Matt Kazman directing); Nox Visual Effects, Cycle Media, and Wave Productions for post; Cossette Media for media.

What: “Picture Them Naked,” a fun new campaign that uses an old piece of advice typically used to help calm nerves to allay consumer fears and misgivings about the sometimes murky and potentially anxiety-inducing world of sports betting.

When & Where: The campaign launched this month, and is running through the fall across TV, online, and social.

Why: Sports betting has become hugely popular in recent years, but factors like odds and an array of betting options can also be hugely confusing to the average bettor.

This campaign is aimed at presenting PlayNow Sports (the province’s only legal online gambling site) as a safer option, while helping it stand out in the often in-your-face world of sports gambling ads. (BCLC also showed its willingness to stand out through unique advertising tactics during the NHL playoffs earlier this year.)

“Sports betting commercials are a sea of same,” said One Twenty Three West creative director Kate Roland. “They’re flashy, loud, and often not super clear: Who am I betting with? Where’s my money going? We wanted to turn that intimidation factor on its head and lighten up the experience. With PlayNow Sports, there’s nothing to hide. You can just focus on enjoying the game.”

How: A lighthearted 30-second TV spot opens on a tight image of a football player, with a voiceover suggesting that betting can be intimidating for less-experienced gamblers. “You know what they say… just picture everyone naked,” says the voiceover.

The spot then cuts to a series of televised sports, including football, hockey, and soccer, where everyone involved, including the coaches and announcers, is naked, their private parts pixelated. The spot ends by telling audiences that they can learn how to bet with the province’s “safe and secure” gambling site.

According to Roland, the actors in the spot were “almost completely naked” for all of the scenes, with both men and women wearing skin-tone coloured underwear. “All our talent were also athletes able to play their sports,” said Roland. “We had to be very careful shooting [fake] pucks at our naked goalie.”

And we quote: “Our goal is to reduce intimidation on all fronts, so that people can get into the fun of the game. Not only are we B.C.’s home for safe and secure sports betting, we want to make it easier to learn your way around all the jargon and how to bet.” — Jessica Bieniasz, senior specialist, sports brand and advertising, BCLC at PlayNow Sports

Chris Powell