The NFL season is finally here, and it’s possible a season has never been met with more anticipation. We’re all weary after 18 months of uncertainty, lockdowns, and bad news. Point spreads, rookie QBs, and Hail Mary’s sound very comfortable about now.
With the NFL cozying up to sports betting in recent years, the 2021-22 season brings more sportsbooks, offers, bonuses, and so on. Arizona launched sports betting on Thursday to coincide with the start of the season. The excitement for America’s real National Pastime is very high.
With that excitement comes hours and hours of broadcast coverage. Which means commercials. Football fans will see more ads for sportsbooks than maybe they care to this fall, but luckily many of the spots are entertaining. Here’s my choice for the best of the first weekend.
1. Caesars Sportsbook
Behold Caesar! Ad Series with Patton Oswalt and JB Smoove
You can’t improve on the quirky, wordy, rambling comedy rants of Patton Oswalt. With his “best friend sidekick” persona and that sweet, underdog “never gets the girl” act he’s perfected. In this new series of ads from Caesars, we see him as a fanboy of JB Smoove’s ultra-cool, ultra-powerful dictator.
Oswalt plays “Carl,” a curious member of Smoove’s kingdom, desperately trying to hit it off with a hot girl standing next to him an adoring crowd or take advantage of loyalty points. Like this exchange:
Oswalt/Carl: Hi, I just want to make sure: you’re saying on my first bet that the Caesars’ Sportsbook app will cover any loss up to $5,000 on any lost bet?
Smoove/Caesar: Yeah, Carl. That’s why I released those 5,000 doves.
Oswalt/Carl: $5000 dollars? Are you sure about that? Because…
Smoove/Caesar: Carl, are you paying attention? The deal is good for all new customers…except Carl!
Please more of these.
2. WynnBET with Ben Affleck and Friends
Shot in a near continuous one-shot sequence, this ad for WynnBET Sportsbook feels like a mini-movie you want to watch over and over, seeing something new each time. Having Ben Affleck front-and-center is a great idea of course, and he’s supported by a 7-foot NBA Hall of Fame legend, music stars, and actors who make you wonder “where have I seen that one before?”
Just take a look:
3. BetMGM “A Win Feels Good” Campaign
Is Anyone Fresher Than Jamie Foxx?
Jamie Foxx is a rarity: instantly recognizable but also capable of disappearing in a role. He’s played Ray Charles, Ricardo Tubbs, and even appeared as a prima donna wide receiver in Any Given Sunday.
But he’s possibly never looked as great as he does as the confident spokesman for BetMGM in their ad campaign for the launch of the NFL season.
The graphic sequence that rolls behind Foxx in this ad is better than anything Monday Night Football has ever produced.