William Hill shouts about speed in new campaign from Resident Evil director

Bookmaker William Hill is aiming to move beyond product-focused messaging with a new TV spot directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.

The ad, which breaks tonight during the England vs. Scotland World Cup qualifier on ITV, promotes the "clever fast" qualities of the brand’s app: the ways it tries to intuitively minimise the time it takes for consumers to use.

It was created by the brand’s retained agency Bark & Bite based on an idea devised in-house by Pete Spiers, head of advertising and content. The cinematography is by Anderson’s regular collaborator Vern Nobles, and the voiceover is by former So Solid Crew star Ashley Walters.

Spiers said the brief was to break away from the norm for betting brands’ ads, which he said were frequently uninspired. "Our consumers are also consumers of Playstation, Nike, Adidas, O2, Guinness, Stella, and those guys advertise to them in an interesting and engaging way," he said.

"This time we wanted to set ourselves the challenge of moving away from the category generic completely, and tell a really compelling story. It’s about the lifestyle benefits of betting with William Hill, not the pure play product benefits."

Spiers said the idea for the ad came from the insight that William Hill was in competition with many other forms of entertainment and media for the limited leisure time of its consumers – meaning it could appeal to many by cutting down the time needed to interact with the brand.

"All our research tells us that speed is one of the key drivers for brand choice in this sector," he said. "But it’s not just a performance perspective, but also a user journey perspective."

He added that although William Hill was putting more weight behind digital and social, TV continues to be a key medium for the brand. "As TV quality gets better, your creative has even more impact, because it's played on bigger screens with better sound quality," he said.

Paul W.S. Anderson has directed four and written all six of the films in the Resident Evil film series, which adapted the popular survival horror video games for the screen. His other movies include Event Horizon, Alien vs. Predator and Pompeii.

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