2016 kicked off with a bang at 888poker, with the launch of a new ‘Live the Game’ campaign and series of commercials, currently broadcasting in the UK. This fun and dynamic new approach will be a huge focus for the brand in the future – but what exactly does ‘Live the Game’ mean?
The idea at the heart of the campaign is that for true players, the dynamics of poker - such as Raise, Fold, All in and Bluff - are reflected in their day to day lives and how they view the world entirely. In fact, we can find this thinking in nearly everything we do; both in business and pleasure,work and play. Through the eyes of a player, the world is a playing field and anything and everything a game.
This concept is particularly evident in the series of commercials, as our three unnamed characters are constantly trying to ‘one-up each other’ by raising the stakes in everything they do.
As 888 PR & Marketing Director, Sivan Finn Shalev suggests: “They're all really around focusing on the lighter motivations around poker, and showing how poker dynamics are reflected in everyday life.”
To understand a bit more of what it’s all about, we’re going behind the scenes to the creation of the ads, where we meet our three leading players both in front of and away from the cameras.
In the adverts, we meet Dylan, who's a bit of a Jack-the-lad, Tyrell, a bit more of the grown up, serious guy and Keenan, who is more of a laid-back, ‘Mr Smooth’ type character. All three are down-to-earth guys who adore poker and enjoy a bit of friendly competition.
The Jazz Club
In the first commercial, all three guys are playing poker in a Jazz Club. Tyrell loses and decides to up the stakes by showing off his moves on the dance floor. As good of a mover and shaker that Tyrell is – the production team opted to use a professional dancer, super-imposing the actr's face in the close-ups. Very clever!
Keenan kicks it up a notch by jumping up to play the piano. Not to be outdone, Dylan takes it to another level with his version of the Macarena that sweeps the club’s aloof bystanders, and gets them off their feet to join him, quite like the pan piper of Hamelin.
David Gamble, the Creative Director, sums up the scene:
“You know what blokes are like. You know you can turn anything into a competition. Whether it's belly-flops or dance-offs or how fast you can eat – tiddlywinks...Literally, anything, breathing! Anything you turn into a game.”
The Quaint Little Local Café
As we move into commercial number Two, Luke Till, the creative manager , gives us his take on how different the Live the Game ads are to what's currently being portrayed:
“Most gambling ads are neon lights and titles. They're just ramming it all down people's throats. We wanted to create a nice story, and we just wanted to stand out – do something different, really.”
In the Little Local Café commercial, the boys find themselves in hot water after larking around with a game of shooting ice cubes into glasses. Predictably, a cube ends up in the cup of a sumo wrestler lookalike, who looks none too happy about getting a face full of foam.
In commercial number Three, Dylan takes the lead with a dive-off competition like no other. After a poolside game goes awry, all three actors dive from a quite a height into the pool. Although, Keenan's actor, is an ex-gymnast and excellent at somersaults, in order to give Keenan's character the edge, a stunt double was used.
Even though Keenan's dive is crisp and nearly perfect, the scene ends with him leaving his shorts floating behind! Much to the amusement of his two mates.
Live the Game Promotion
So there it is. But the excitement doesn’t stop there! The ‘Live the Game’ campaign will feature new offers, a presence on online platforms, and social campaigns, including the current Promotion which invites members to ‘play it YOUR way’ for a share of a staggering $1,000,000. Whether you're a “Smooth Caller”, “Big Raiser or an “All-in” sort of player, there’s something for everyone here, with access to three different Live the Game Tournaments, running every day.
Are you ready to “Live the Game”? Find out more here.