TAB confirms gambling is a rollercoaster ride in new campaign

Right in time for the gambling rush that annually coincides with the Melbourne Cup, TAB has launched a new campaign via Sugar & Partners that features a group of friends seated on a flying rollercoaster. And while this might sound like an aptly terrifying metaphor to accompany the ups and downs of gambling, the characters depicted in the 45-second ad seem to enjoy the trackless journey through the sky.

This spot kicks off a 40-week-long campaign that will cover a range of live racing and sports events.

The length of the campaign and the range of sports included posed a tricky creative challenge for Sugar & Partners in the sense that the agency was required to create a branding vehicle that could be seamlessly applied across all the sporting events over the period. 

To overcome this problem, the agency built the campaign on the premise that watching live racing and sport “is much more entertaining with a bet on”.      

“Place a bet and you’re on a journey filled with tension, exhilaration and real excitement,” says Sugar & Partner’s creative director Dave Nash. “The campaign represents this feeling coming to life in a literal way; underpinned by Magic Carpet Ride, the rollercoaster creates an entertaining flexible brand device.” 

The malleability of the campaign is evidenced in the fact that Sugar & Partners will cut down the full 45-second spot into 15-second segments across league, tennis, netball and racing throughout the year. And for all other sports, a retail layer has been developed that sees the viewer take the reins of the Rollercoaster.   

“Are you in? is a natural progression for the brand and sums up what’s on offer, inviting you to get involved,” says Damon O’Leary, Sugar & Partners creative director. “It builds on the competitive nature of backing the right team and the payoff between mates as well as the financial reward.”  

The media planning, led by MBM, aims to follow the fan through pre-­game hype on social media, online blogs and news sites through to television advertising on live games using digital and social to encourage conversations and deeper engagement with TAB’s 70,000 Facebook fans.  

This activity is also supported by TAB’s integrated content partnership with Stuff.co.nz, with TAB owning key placements and running live related odds to stories across desktop, tablet and mobile editions. 
“This approach is a really exciting move for us, not only having a unified brand vehicle to use across campaigns, we are now also able to be topical and relevant to our audience across every media touchpoint,” says TAB’s campaign manager Katherine O’Connor. “The retail television and digital layer will be a great marketing tool that we will be refreshing multiple times per month.”

While still humorous in parts, this campaign isn’t quite as quirky as the campaigns the TAB has released over the course of the last year.

For example, during the FIFA World Cup, the TAB released a campaign that made gamblers everywhere slightly concerned that that their appearances might change drastically on account of the excitement.


And this campaign was preceded by a Triple Trio spot, which featured John Leigh as a modern day Ahab drawing a parallel between fishing and gambling. 

And back in 2012, the TAB was involved in some office demolition with its ‘Weekend Calls’ campaign.  



Executive General Manager – Glenn Patrick
Head of Marketing and Digital Sales – Mike Heath Senior Marketing Manager –   
Kevin Broome Campaign Manager – Katherine O’Connor

Creative Directors – Dave Nash & Damon O’Leary
Head of Planning – Tania Stevenson
Group Account Director – Dennis Carroll
Account Directors – Campbell McLean & Julianne Hastings
Digital and Social Account Manager – Kate Ferriman
Head of Art – Hamish McArthur
Agency Producers – Nick Barnes & Chloe Sutherland
Creatives – Dave Nash, Damon O’Leary, Daniel Nelson and Vikki Cheng
Retoucher/Design  – Gary Butcher.

Managing Director – Sean McCready
Business Director – Will Tran
Senior Trading Manager – Adria Peck
Digital Media Planner/Buyer – Sahri Armstrong
Digital Media Assistant – Ben Jones

Director – Andrew Newland
Producer – Nanette Miles
DoP – Renaud Maire
Editor – Julian Currin Colourist – Andrew Brown Flame Artist– Leoni Willis
CG: Lerni Ang & Terry Nghen

Liquid Studios
Audio Engineer – Craig Matuschka

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