A Deadly Robot and Snake-Filled Toilet Bring Risk Back to Sports Betting

With FanDuel’s risk-free wagering, it’s time for some peril

a snake on a toilet seat
FanDuel's new ads put the risk back into betting on sports. FanDuel
Headshot of Mitch Reames

The Super Bowl is just over a week away, an event many industries consider their most important of the year. Obviously, the NFL has been building to the matchup between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs throughout the season. And the advertising world has also been preparing a new slate of ads for the Big Game. But another industry will also have its biggest day on Feb. 2: sports betting.

From the coin toss to the color of Gatorade poured over the winning coach’s head, bettors can place wagers on just about everything taking place in Miami’s Hard Rock Stadium. With sports betting now legal in 11 states after a 2018 Supreme Court decision lifted a federal ban, Super Bowl 2020 will see more Americans place a bet than ever before.

FanDuel is hoping these new bettors come to its site—provided they reside in a state where online betting is legal. To bring them to the virtual table, the site is offering a risk-free bet of up to $500 on any aspect of the game. But for people for whom betting is more about the adrenaline of taking a risk, FanDuel’s new campaign from BBH New York—led by Gerard Caputo, who recently left for W+K New York—injects that uncertainty back into the Big Game.

The quick jokes throughout the 30-second spot work great as finger-stoppers and YouTube prerolls. BBH New York also created six 15-second spots, which were cut down to 6 seconds as well. Some of the situations make for the campaign’s funniest moments: The robot vacuum drill is a creative way to stoke fear, for example, and the can shake is a classic gag that never goes out of style.

Unfortunately for FanDuel, not even all 11 states where sports betting has been legalized can take advantage of this offer. Only Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey can actually place a bet on the website right now. That limited reach is part of the reason why FanDuel may be fine with putting up thousands of dollars risk-free to new bettors.

Regardless, more and more states will likely legalize sports gambling, with restrictions being slowly stripped away. Expect to see more ads from brands like this as sports betting steps out of the shadows and becomes a normal part of sports fandom.


Agency: BBH NY
Chief Creative Officer: Gerard Caputo
Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Mackler
Creative Director/CW: Scott Cooney
Creative Director/AD: Diego Fonseca
Motion Designer and Editor: Roman Micevic
Head of Account Management: Alex Monger
Account Director: Shana Honig Horowitz
Head of Production: Brooke Kaylor
Senior Content Producer: Shelley Giera
Head of Planning: Tom Callard
Strategy Director: Helene Dick
Director of Business Affairs: Librado Sanchez
Project Director: Adam Taverniti

Client: FanDuel
Chief Marketing Officer: Mike Raffensperger
Executive Creative Director: Steven Giraldi
VP Communications & Brand Strategy: Simon Kennedy
VP Integrated & Product Marketing: Kelley Walker
Director of Integrated Marketing: AJ Mazza
Associate Creative Directors: Keith Wasser, Edgar Gallardo
Senior Creative Operations Associate: Jessica Maitner

Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Conor Byrne
Director of Photography: Mateo Londono
Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
Line Producer: Tyler Byrne

Edit/Post Company: Cosmo Street/SwitchFX
Editor: Tom Scherma
Assistant Editor: Jared Zygarlicke
Head of Production: Anne Lai
Flame Artist: Jake Weeks
Post Producer: Cara Flynn

Color Grade: Company 3
Colorist: Tim Masick
Senior Producer: Kevin Breheny

Sound Design/Mix: Sound Lounge
Mixer/Audio Engineer: Tom Jucarone
Producer: Alicia Rodgers

Mitch Reames is a freelance writer based in southern Oregon. A 2017 graduate of the University of Oregon school of journalism and communications, Reames covers a wide range of industry topics including creativity, agencies, brands, esports and more.