DraftKings Summons a Daft Doctor to Cure What Ails Fantasy-Football Fans

Make an appointment with Dr. Aftkings

If you’re suffering from silly-sounding, made-up ailments related to fantasy sports, the DraftKings doctor will see you now.

That’s Dr. Aftkings (see what they did there!?), who stars in a series of ads from Deutsch that began rolling out last week. In the spot below, the doofy doc dispenses a daffy diagnosis to a distraught dude suffering from lamentably low fantasy-football earnings:


Are we sure that guy went to medical school?

“These spots use humor to connect to our young, male demo and make our educational messaging more entertaining,” Don Lane, senior vp of brand and creative at DraftKings, tells AdFreak. (This is the client’s first work under Lane, formerly a long-time executive at Arnold Worldwide, where his tenure overlapped for many years with that of current Deutsch North America creative leader Pete Favat.)

Dr. Aftkings’ prescription stays pretty much the same in other ads that deal with maladies like “Draftitis,” “Loseonic Plague” and, um, “Winnerhea.”


“For fantasy-football players, season-long leagues just don’t have enough action,” explains Deutsch New York creative chief Dan Kelleher. “There’s only one draft, one game a week, that’s it. We realized this fantasy deficiency was leading to symptoms of depression and apathy across a wide range of players. Lucky for them, we had the cure”—that would be Dr. Aftkings—”the only man who can treat players suffering from fantasy withdrawals, and keep them playing all season long.”

The deadpan/bedpan central performance by actor Vyto Ruginis and director Wayne McClammy‘s deft comic touch elevate the material, though you’d think medical science or creative directors would have eradicated the doltish-disease trope by now.

Still, while Dr. Aftkings’ schtick may not constitute a breakthrough, his antics are diverting and on-brand. So, Hippocratically speaking, at least he does no harm.

DraftKings is also launching a separate series of “Play” spots (see below), which consist mainly of monochrome slow-mo game footage and big-ass text—”A week one win can be huge!”—flashing on screen. Dr. Aftkings doesn’t appear in those. Maybe he was on the links that day (talk about tired tropes!), or summoned to appear before the state medical board.


Client: DraftKings
Agency: Deutsch

—DraftKings “Dr. Aftkings” Campaign

Deutsch Office: New York
Chief Creative Officer, North America – Pete Favat
Chief Creative Officer, New York – Dan Kelleher
Executive Creative Director – Pete Johnson
Art Director – Krish Karunanidhi
Copywriter – Justin Lee, Jim LeMaitre, Jonathan Mackler
Director of Integrated Production – Joe Calabrese
Executive Producer – Shane Smith
Director of Integrated Business Affairs – Maria Taris
Group Director, Integrated Business Affairs – Stacy Schwartz
Head of Digital Strategy & Invention – Rachel Mercer
Sr. Strategist – Sidney Henne
Sr. Strategist, Digital – Rachel Gruber
Project Manager – Sean Gilleylen
Account Director – Andrew Arnot
Account Supervisor – Emily Doll
Account Executive – Mina Mukherjee

Client, Client Contact:
SVP, Brand & Creative – Don Lane
VP, Brand & Sports Marketing – Michael Shonkoff
Creative Director – Scott Salsbury
Director of Design – Thibault Kim
Senior Marketing Acquisition Associate – Ethan Shibutani
Strategic Partnerships – Gregory Sbardella
Marketing Specialist – Rob Hanson
Senior Manager – Josh Levin-Scherz

Production Company: Hungry Man
Director – Wayne McClammy
Executive Producer – Mino Jarjoura
Line Producer – Dave Bernstein
Director of Photography – Bryan Newman

Editorial: Cutting Room
Editor – Chuck Willis
Managing Partner – Susan Willis
Executive Producer – Anna Petitti

Telecine: Company 3
Senior Colorist – Tim Masick

Visual Effects: Light of Day
Creative Director/Partner – Colin Stackpole
Flame Artist – Pete DeAndrea

Music/Licensed Music Tracks: Extreme Music
Track – XCD070_01 SUPERBAD

Audio Post: Duotone
Executive Producer – Greg Tiefenbrun
Audio Engineer – Andy Green

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