Raise your hand if you didn’t see a sportsbook commercial this year.
That was a trick question. We all saw sportsbook commercials in 2021. Not once, not twice, but many, many times.
Most commercials are annoying. Which is why a great commercial is so enjoyable. It’s like having a fun visit to the dentist; like discovering a Dane Cook joke that’s actually funny; like finding a good-tasting fruitcake.
Here are our choices for the five best sportsbook or sports betting commercials from 2021.
#1. Only Caesars Can Give You Caesars Rewards
The biggest winner of 2021 was Caesars with its campaign featuring comedians JB Smoove and Patton Oswalt. These spots have the feel of improv, which is appropriate since both Smoove and Oswalt have a reputation for improvisation in their work.
Oswalt’s nerdy, obsessive rants are reminiscent of his iconic filibuster performance on Parks & Recreation, when he breathlessly ad-libbed several minutes of Star Wars geekiness.
Smoove is brilliant as always with his self-assured, over the top bravado and command of the language, as he shows us how a benevolent Caesar may have acted. The former Def Comedy Jam member and Emmy-nominated actor is cool enough and funny enough to draw your eyes and ears to his every move. That’s the perfect recipe for a great commercial.
#2. BetMGM: Win Like a King
Kudos to BetMGM for securing Jamie Foxx, a true Hollywood superstar for its signature branding campaign. Foxx has a presence and personal stature that sells the “King of Sportsbooks” message. This is the best of the many advertisements featuring the Oscar-winning actor. I especially like his legit right-handed home run swing. The EPS (Explosions Per Second) are off the charts in this one.
#3. PointsBet: Live Your Bet Life with Drew Brees
We can debate how clever the phrase “Live Your Bet Life” is, but these PointsBet commercials are pretty solid. This series is hosted by Drew Brees, who finds himself with a group of pals celebrating parlay and prop bet wins, etc.
#4. FanDuel: Moments
You can’t go wrong with Zubaz, which make a brief appearance in this quick-cut montage style advert from FanDuel. No stars, no fireworks, no comedians, just a series of images to get you excited about the thrills of sports betting and big moments.
#5. Caesars Sportsbook: The Press Conference with the Mannings
Truth is, we could have had three or four Caesars commercials that feature JB Smoove in our rankings. That’s how good this series has been. Look at it this way: PointsBet had an entire series of adverts with Shaquille O’Neal. They were pretty amusing, and sometimes clever. But they look way under 7-feet tall compared to the giant success of the Smoove commercials from Caesars. That’s how good these spots are.
In this one, titled “The Press Conference,” we get Smoove again as Caesar, with his lovely Cleopatra sidekick played by Halle Berry, and special appearances by four Mannings: Archie, Peyton, Eli, and Cooper. It’s the non-football star Cooper who steals this commercial, with his weird facial expressions and perfect giggle from the backrow.