A Youtube preroll ad campaign (and a supporting TV ad), which I conceptualised, wrote and directed for Sportingbet, picked up an award for “Innovative Use of Media” at the 2017 Bookmarks.

The campaign, executed in 2016 during my tenure as Executive Creative Strategist at HoneyKome, picked up a Bronze Award at the 2017 Bookmarks.

The previous year, while I was consulting for the same agency, I’d conceptualised, written and directed a series of three TV ads for Sportingbet, which were well received by both audiences and the brand, who – being an internet-based betting website – were able to measure a direct correlation between web traffic and the flighting of the ads.

For a follow-up 2016 campaign, Sportingbet asked for a creative way to use Youtube pre-roll ads to not only target the right audience but – critically – not irritate them through the use of the format, which is often seen as invasive or annoying.

The idea was to use the same character form the original TV ads, local comedian Rickus de Beer (aka “Jonathan from RadioRaps”), in series of preroll ads where he bets with his best mate on whether the viewer will skip the ad or not.

Each of our three preroll ads also highlighted a different functionality feature of Sportingbet’s betting services. One focussed on “In-game Markets” (the ability to bet on small, very specific events and markers within games).

Another focussed on their “Cash Out” feature, which enables users to pull out of a bet (at a mitigated loss) if the game is not going well.

Careful Youtube targeting and remarketing (largely due to the good work of Mike Walker and Slade Reyneke, also formerly of HoneyKome) meant that we could serve each ad only to viewers that had already seen the previous ones.

Finally, we turned the common model of “TV ads with cursory digital support” on its head, by creating a TVC that mimicked the Youtube campaign. In this ad, the characters believe that they’re on Youtube. When they realise that they’re on TV, and thus can’t bet on the viewers skipping, Rickus realises that they can bet using their phones. This enabled us to call out Sportingbets mobile “bet from anywhere” functionality.

Produced on a relatively small budget, with a small team, this campaign proved that playing with digital and broadcast advertising formats can lead to ads that are rewarding for the viewer, and yield real, measurable results for the client’s business.

Concept: Gordon Laws and Devon Brough
Scripting: Gordon Laws
Creative Direction: Gordon Laws
Direction: Gordon Laws
Videography and Editing: Jacob Claassens
Art Direction: Allan Slow
CGI and animation: Ryan Jonathan
Paid media, targeting and remarketing:
Michael Walker and Slade Reyneke
Client Service: Rugaya Jacobs
Voice-overs: Gordon Laws