CrownBet marketer talks taking on rivals and avoiding the gutter

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 16 October 2017
Nicky Whelan is the star of CrownBet's new campaign

At only two years old, CrownBet is one of the youngest brands in the betting category, competing against established global and local players.

CrownBet CMO Ed Owens admits the brand has a lot of work to do to shake-up the market and put pressure on Sportsbet, and TAB which currently hold the lions share. 

“We’re the challenger brand in the betting category. We are the youngest, which is why we have to do things differently and be disruptive,” he says.

It was CrownBet’s pursual of disruption that led to the brand appointing The Monkeys earlier this year, without a formal pitch. Previously the brand worked with Clemenger Melbourne on a project-by-project basis.

“We needed a fresh pair of eyes and a different approach for our advertising that would address the challenges in this category,” he says, adding The Monkeys reputation of being adland’s provocateurs made them one of the first agencies CrownBet approached.

CrownBet released its first piece of work from The Monkeys in September, featuring Australian actress Nicky Whelan.

Owens says the use of a woman was a deliberate move to stand out amongst a sea of male ambassadors used by CrownBet’s competitors, such as Axle Whitehead for William Hill and Ben Johnson for Sportsbet.

“No one else is using women so we thought it would be a small advantage in terms of achieving cut through and getting our audience’s attention,” he says.

The next iteration of the campaign will mark the return of cricketer Ricky Ponting.

The ad also aims to position CrownBet as a premium wagering experience, targeting males aged 18-55.

“We are avoiding getting into the slapstick, gutter humour you often see in betting advertising. We aren’t trying to shout at anybody. You can be classy and respectful and still get cut through. We try to be slightly more refined than our rivals,” Owens says.

Owens says while CrownBet is investing heavily in TV, which is popular for the category, print media is another platform that betting brand’s still focus on.

“CrownBet’s most natural home is sporting events but regulation prevents us from advertising to volume around sports. While it’s getting harder to advertise on TV, it’s still the most powerful brand building call.”

CrownBet was born out of a joint venture between Crown Resorts, the parent company of BetFair, and BetEasy in 2015.

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