Ladbrokes kicks off World Cup with 'Get Carter' style ad

Ladbrokes is kicking off a £5m World Cup 2010 TV and press ad campaign at the weekend in an attempt to attract new betting customers as football fever mounts.

The campaign, which was created by M&C Saatchi and is described by Ladbrokes as is its "biggest ever", will make its debut on ITV1 this Sunday during the half-time ad break in the England versus Japan game.

The ad stars ex-footballers Ian Wright and Chris Kamara, who have both appeared in earlier campaigns for Ladbrokes, and introduces the slogan ‘Got the Feeling? Get to Ladbrokes'.

The 1960s-style advertising features an array of British iconography, including bowler hats, umbrellas, red telephone boxes and minis. The ads consist of humourous vignettes set to the tune of ‘Self Preservation Society' from the film The Italian Job - clearly designed to stir viewers' patriotism.

Wright and Kamara are seen extolling England's virtues and as the ad progresses it becomes apparent to the viewer that the pair are inside the head of a football fan. As the camera pulls out of the supporter's head, he shouts out that England are going to win, before realising too late that he is at dinner with his girlfriend, who is less than impressed.

Other ads in the campaign feature similar situations in which fans blurt out their support for England in inappropriate circumstances.

Each ad ends with the new strapline and either a betting market and price or an introductory offer of ‘Bet £5, get £25 free'.

Ladbrokes is hoping to cash in on the vast sums of money that British punters are forecast to spend on betting during the tournament.

According to Ladbrokes, the betting industry handled £500m in stakes during the 2006 World Cup and it expects that figure to rise significantly in 2010 due to higher levels of broadband penetration.

The TV ads will be supported by activity across other media, including press and online

John O'Reilly, Ladbroke's managing director of egaming, said: "The World Cup is the biggest customer recruitment opportunity across a four-year cycle and to ensure the Ladbrokes brand is front of mind, we are launching a new advertising campaign that communicates the anticipation and excitement of betting."

The ads were directed by Vaughan Arnell and the media was bought by Walker Media.

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