I really want to like this. Really, really want to like this. Heck, Norse Nacho Libre style wrestlers? You have me at at the firt choke slam. 
But sadly I’ m left feeling unsatisfied. In place of a powerbomb of punchline and a real urge to try out poker betclic I get a concept that was as easy to spot as André the Giant but carried a message as foggy as the Ultimate Warrior’s mind (I’m old school, sue me). And I had to wait for it longer than the average Hulk Hogan fight.

My first grudge with this ad is that up until  1:18 the average viewer will not know what it is for. Sure, one of the Viking-thingies has a heart shaped necklace and other card symbols appear as well, but to go from that and think “I get it, this is an ad for online poker” is a stretch. This type of product and thematical detachment means that by  the end of the ad viewers will still have no idea of what playing poker at betclic is about. Nothing. Except, perhaps, the fact that the betclic dudes seem to be a relaxed bunch of people  – a  positive notion which should never be underestimated. Maybe they’r trying to say that even underdogs can win when they play poker at betclic. Doubt it though.

If this was only distributed for viral use, people usually will know the sender in advance, then  I fold on the first criticism. It doesn’t remedy the topical distancing from anything related to poker, poker players, the mechanics of poker, the mood of poker etcetera though.

All this ad is trying to convey is that “we offer online poker” and not even that is 100% clear. This is for the Italian market and everything is new so you need to cool it with the poker savvyness, but I think this message is still too weak, too generic to waste 1:20 of advertising time on. Particularly in such a costly fashion. Now, betclic is not primarely a poker brand and shouldn’t even think about entering the  poker advertising territory that Full Tilt commands for example, but surely they need to have some idea of why players at betclic will want to play poker with them. 
Even something as simple  “get a break from sportsbetting, play poker” you could do heaps with.

One point for using a concept that has infinity written all over it. I can’t wait for installment nr 27 featuring a gay waitor and a German virgin.