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Online Gambling & Sports Betting TV Advertising: Capturing a Growing Market

October 6, 2020

Online gambling and sports betting are thriving despite the widespread economic disruption caused by the coronavirus. With stay-at-home orders and business closures across the country — including all but two of the country’s nearly 1,000 casinos — online gambling offers an engaging distraction for people at home looking for some action.

With increasing competition and the new window of opportunity that the pandemic presented for people to gamble at home, online sports betting brands are turning to traditional TV advertising to build brand awareness and reach a broad audience of potential users.

Using the in-market measurement capabilities of Phoenix Brand Effect, we have highlighted two brands that have gone beyond targeted digital advertising to pursue the growing number of at-home sports betting enthusiasts through TV.




Brand-Level Insights:

FanDuel (FD) has an edge over DraftKings (DK) in 2020 on Ad Memorability (45% vs 34%, respectively), which is propelling its strong Brand Memorability (FD: 19% vs DK: 15%). A couple of factors are helping FanDuel’s stronger Brand Memorability:

  1. Streamlined ad rotation as the brand puts more support behind a few ads, allowing those ads to wear-in, and
  2. Ads feature several creative best practices, such as a story and forming an emotional connection (in the case of these ads, humor) with consumers, integrating the brand and message through the story, and creative consistency (several FanDuel ads feature a similar approach).

The ads of course also likely meld well with the sports environment, but this would not be a distinguishing factor relative to DraftKings.

Ad-Level Insights:

“Tackled”, similar to some of FanDuel’s other ads in the campaign, shows a clever twist on how FanDuel brings its customers close to the game, featuring a fan running away from NFL player James Harrison who is trying to tackle the customer. With a storyline that relates to customers and brings the brand and message to life, viewers easily remember the ad and also connect it back to the brand.




Brand-Level Insights:

While DraftKings has strong ads that yield scores on par with FanDuel’s top ads, the brand as a whole trails DraftKings. DraftKings has spread its support across more ads than FanDuel, limiting the opportunity for them to wear-in. Additionally, while DraftKings ads feature strong creative consistency and often highlight NFL or other sports scenes, they lack the content integration that FanDuel uses in its ads, leaning more on CGI elements, which are less consistent in their ad performance.

Ad-Level Insights:

DraftKings’ top ad, “Land of the Million”, ranked alongside FanDuel’s top ad. But, the ad has received lighter support than FanDuel’s top ad, limiting its impact on DraftKing’s overall brand performance. The ad features strong brand integration and consistency, along with some NFL game footage, possibly helping the ad synergize with the environment.


For additional advertising effectiveness insights within this emerging category, or to learn how we can help you optimize your messaging and creative, let’s talk!


Phoenix Brand Effect is the gold standard for in-market performance and can provide real-world, real-time, in-flight ad measurement to help you establish a baseline for future campaigns. Looking to bridge the gap between pre-market creative development and in-market tracking? Our newly-developed AdPi-Brand Effect Platform offers clients a seamless solution to maximize ad performance using creative diagnostics (AdPi®) to generate forward-looking estimates to understand your creative’s full in-market performance potential (Brand Effect).

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