Cash Is the Ultimate Catnip in This Honest Ad for Online Gambling

Winning is everything. Why pretend otherwise?

People dress gambling up in all sorts of ways. Really, though, everyone knows why a gambler plays: to win, and win big.

That's the insight TBWA\Paris is leaning into for online betting client Winamax. The new brand signature, "Winning Is Everything," opens with "The Ball of Yarn," an ad inspired by gritty action films. It's backed by Archie Bleyer's "Hernando's Hideaway," a catchy tango track you might remember from Guy Ritchie's Snatch.


In the film, a giant ball of yarn rolls through a lively nighttime cityscape occupied by cats—or rather, humans in Ironman-style cat masks that light up when the yarn goes by. A lot's going on, some legit and some seedy, but everyone stops in their tracks and takes off after the ball, like freshly awakened Smiths chasing Neo. At the ad's end, the ball rolls into a canal, and all the cats go leaping in after it, slow-mo style.

"Winning is everything," the ad concludes. "Winamax: Online sports betting."

"Gambling isn't like any other game. It's a game for adults where the primary motivation is to win," says Mathieu Porri, communications director at Winamax. "The objective was for the agency to illustrate this new positioning in a masterful way."

The ad departs philosophically, if not stylistically, from Winamax's offering from last year. Also by TBWA\Paris, "The Mama" was an exhilarating Willy Wonka-style escapade where a guy, having won a bet, walks his mom to an elevator that fast-tracks her into dream fulfillment—his dreams for her, anyway. "Anything for your mama," it ended.

"The Ball of Yarn" sets noble claims aside. It doesn't really matter what reasons you might claim to have for winning. The point is, you want to. In a way, "The Mama" was more cynical in the sense that it made this basic gambler's impulse potentially noble. Here, the impulse is what counts.

That might hit precisely the right note for right now. The war in Ukraine is sending energy bills sky high throughout Europe, which is already facing record inflation. There isn't much optimism around lately. Concurrently with all this drama, online gambling happens to be on the rise. White-knighting your hustle is a luxury these days; who's got time for that?

"What we liked in this race to win is that it remains true and authentic about gambling. Because it's not just a game," says Jonathan Serog, general director at TBWA\Paris. "Contrary to what some people would have us believe, you don't make a bet just to have fun or to spice up your match ... and certainly not just for the beauty of it. You bet to win. Players know it—and so does Winamax."

"The Ball of Yarn" is running on French televisions, and online, in :60 and :30 iterations. It's supported by a nationwide poster campaign, featuring original drawings by Shan Jiang. 

Notably, Winamax recently spearheaded its first-ever Responsible Gaming Week, which ended on Oct. 23. This buffet of corporate partners included prevention information and debate … and more pertinently, information on "the gambling practices of the French." The goal was to discuss the "specific risks associated with gambling and the necessary precautions to ensure that gambling remains a pleasure and nothing more." 

That's sweet, like Philip Morris's ongoing concern about the state of our lungs. 


Agency: TBWA\Paris

Client Managers: Alexandre ROOS, Christophe SCHAMING, Mathieu PORRI, Aurélien GUIGLINI, Julien HUBER 
Agency Managers: Jonathan SEROG, Matthieu CHARLES, Florian PECQUERY
Head of Planning: Nicolas ORSONI

Executive Creative Directors: Benjamin MARCHAL, Faustin CLAVERIE
Copywriter: Swann RICHARD
Art Director: François CLAUX
CEO \Else & Head of TV Prod: Maxime BOIRON
Creative Producer: Lorraine POINCIGNON
Head of Intellectual Property: Caroline PAILLARD-WALTER


Production: SOLAB
Producer: Edouard CHASSAING
Line Producer: Théo JOURDAIN
Director: Romain CHASSAING


Shoot supervisor: Etienne SALANÇON
2D Lead Artists:  Michael MARQUES/ Jonathan LAGACHE / Ingmar RENOUARDIERE
3D Lead Artist:  Sylvain SARRADIN
Editor: Manu COUTANT
Grading: Arthur PAUX
Post producer: Elise GAMBOA, Sébastien VOISIN


Head of Music and Sound: Olivier LEFEBVRE
Music & Sound Producer: Fabrice POUVREAU, Fanny MITHOIS
Sound Ingeneer: Alexandre ROBIEUX, Romaine PERSONNÉ 
Sound Coordinator: Mélissandre MONS
DA Music: Ferdinand HUET
Music Business Affairs: Constance DUHOURCAU, Marion LE GULUCHE
Author/ Compositor: Paroles et musique de Jerry Ross and RICHARD ADLER
Artist: The Johnston Brothers
Master Owner: Warner Chappell Music France

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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