Ad of the week – The Ladbrokes Life

by Stratton Craig

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Online and high-street betting company Ladbrokes attempts to elevate themselves above the rest with their latest promotional campaign – ‘The Ladbrokes Life’ – which we’ve chosen as our Ad of the Week. A TV slot leads the campaign, supported by a dedicated website plus social media using the hashtag #theladbrokeslife.
Whereas the company’s previous approach was to suck customers in by shouting loudly (quite literally) about the latest odds and the returns available, ‘The Ladbrokes Life’ takes a completely differently approach.
Now, we’re introduced to the bettors in the shape of a five-strong group of stereotypical ‘lads’. Each has his own approach to betting, from the Gut Truster who goes on instinct alone to The Professor who’s all about the numbers.
We’re introduced to each from the start: “So there’s this guy right, The Believer, he likes his odds long and his wins big. Risk would be his middle name if it wasn’t already Douglas.” It then continues: “And Generous John, first to the bar, last in the cab. He knows betting’s a team sport.” After meeting the rest through similar voice overs and visuals of the group in casual settings (nightclub, pub, and chip shop) the ending ties Ladbrokes to all “betting men”: “They are the dreamers, the glory seekers, the back page philosophers, the Wednesday warriors. They are the have-a-go heroes of Saturday afternoon. They are the betting men, and this is the Ladbrokes life.”
What’s noticeable here is that the focus isn’t on winning money, but that betting without excess can be a fun and social activity. By highlighting this fact, Ladbrokes hopes to align themselves with the culture of betting and resonate with those who are a part of it, rather than simply plugging their USP. And the tone of voice used is immediately recognisable and on a par with that of the laddish target audience.
An effective tool when developing tone of voice is to consider the brand as a person, thinking about what their age, interests and personality traits would be. To attract Ladbrokes’ preferred consumer, the agency responsible for the ad – BBH London – has chosen to portray the betting provider as an extension of the group. The ‘Ladbrokes Life’ is a culture they can all share in together, and it looks like a lot of fun.
Next time you spot an ad that grabs your attention, let us know by leaving a comment below or tweeting your suggestion @strattoncraig.

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