Sam Cooke – TV Sports Betting Ads – The SBC Pick

Everybody has a personal favourite TV advert (most likely by Honda, right?). Or there’s that Puma Valentines Day one. The vast majority though are, let’s face it, both shockingly bad, and instantly forgettable.


Gambling adverts are common, and increasingly so with a reported 1444% rise since the deregulation of the sector in tv advertising in Britain in 2005. Previously, it had been restricted to the National Lottery, bingo premises and the football pools. Despite this huge increase, and opportunity, these adverts have mostly followed the same pattern of being unoriginal and forgettable.

Some stand out however, and some deserve to be remembered. It is these to which we bow our collective hat. This is an SBC tribute to gambling television adverts that have stood out. Long may they be Youtubed.

Earlier this year Culture Secretary Maria Miller announced that such adverts may be banned, or at least severely limited, from television in the UK. She stated a wish to ensure “children and the vulnerable” are protected. The following may soon become remnants of a time gone by; honour them by rewatching below.

  1. Paddy Power – Blind football

Social media and controversy kings Paddy Power were bound to feature so we might as well get them out the way first. Whilst there are a few to choose from courtesy of the Irish bookmaker, one of their stand-out television ads has to their blind football advert in 2010. This was the most complained about tv advert that year, and featured a cat being kicked into a tree by a blind player.

If you ban something though, all that happens is more people want to see it. A funny, and very effective advert from Paddy Power. A shout out also goes to Paddy’s ‘Chav Tranquiliser’ advert, banned after four days on television and their Jesus ad which was banned in Italy. Sadly, their Arsenal players reading mean tweets ad was online only – though this is definitely a must watch.

  1. Ladbrokes – ManWave shampoo

Who isn’t a fan of Chris Kamara? This one was part of a series which saw Kamara team up with Tiziano Crudeli. This opens with everybody’s favourite Sky Sports commentator superbly advertising a new shampoo before Crudeli bursts in and interrupts matters.

The new Ladbrokes Life series is also well-formed and should prove effective.

Note: This is worth watching for the direct link at the end to Kamara’s funniest TV moments.

  1. Coral – Farley and Carly: Darren does Steven Gerrard

One of the newest to make the list, Coral hired impressionist and comedian Darren Farley, and model Carly Baker, as their new TV duo ahead of this Premier League season. A number were released, the pick of which has to be Darren Farley’s impression of Steven Gerrard. The Jamie Carragher edition is also worth a watch; scouse is evidently Farley’s talent, or else scouse is just funny in itself.

  1. Skybet – What If?

Epic is the word for this one. The music builds, the drama grows and the voiceover captivates. This one does what it set out to do; it makes you want to gamble right away. It’s exciting and ensures the last words uttered; ‘Skybet’ give you a hint where to go to place your bet.

  1. Victor Chandler – Inside Track – Sven Goran Eriksson  

Victor himself appears alongside comedian and actor, Paul Kaye, in many television advertisements for his bookmaker Victor Chandler. The latest however features Sven Goran Eriksson alongside Kaye. Eriksson plays a model train enthusiast, and it’s a worth a watch just to see the former England boss looking awkward in his rail conductor uniform.


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