Bingo TV Adverts
Between 2010 and 2016 online bingo was growing as a business and this was represented by the number of TV advertising campaigns that were launched to promote various sites. Big brands like Jackpotjoy, Gala and Mecca poppped up on our TV screens alongside smaller less well known sites such as Showreel Bingo, Bright Bingo and Landmark Bingo. The quality of these ads varied from site to site but they were usually always memorable for one reason or another. From dancing weimeraner dogs, twerking cactii, racing grannies, pooping pigeons and reworkings of popular tunes - online bingo ads had it all. By the same token some - well in fact most - bingo ads were pretty terrible and looked liked they'd been created on The Apprentice of via Fiverr. To date it's hard to recall a worst advert than Release Your Inner Minx for the shortlived Gala spin off that was Minxy Bingo.
Changes To Advertising Bingo
Eagle eyed viewers will note that since 2017 bingo ads have become less prevalent and less interesting. UKGC rules mean that advertising can't appeal to children so that put paid to a lot of the fun elements. We're not sure if Mecca's Twerking Cactus or Paddy Power's Pooping Pigeon would pass muster from ASA and The UKGC these days. In October 2022 gambling adverts will also no longer be able to feature celebrities so bingo adverts in the past that have featured the likes of Vic Reeves as a cross-dressing player (888 Ladies Bingo) would no longer be viable. Another reason for the reduction in bingo advertising is that it's perhaps no longer as effective. The fact is that new bingo sites are very limited and off hand we can only recall MrQ Casino as a brand trying small screen advertising for the first time in recent times. Smaller brands tend to no longer spend money on TV advertising. This is disappointing because it means fewer ads to feature here but more importantly because they used to be the worst ones. These days the big brands have slick productions and stricter rules to abide by.
The Best & Worst Ads Reviewed
If you've visited Loquax in the past then you'll know that we once reviewed all the bingo ads. We were at times a little bit savage with our thoughts - in fact on one occasion we had a serious falling out with one brand who didn't like our comments. They actually closed our affiliate account because we hated the advert so much. We did kiss and make-up though!! So where have the reviews gone? Again the killjoys at The UKGC are the reason. Some of the adverts on Youtube have been culled due to the content being old and/or not compliant with current rulings - bingo cancel culture if you like. Many of the adverts that do remain on Youtube have been flagged as over 18 and therefore because they're age restricted can't be shown off the video sharing platform. This creates lots of blanks and dead videos which negates the purpose of the reviews. Finally there are just so few new ads that the section has become redundant. Therefore to stay compliant with UKGC rules we have opted to reduce the content in this section. However that doesn't mean we can't reminisce about the good old days. So here's an overview of just some of the more memorable adverts.
1. Mecca Bingo's Twerking Cactus
Mention bingo adverts to many old timers in the industry and most will remember Mecca Bingo's Twerking Cactus. Launched in September 2014 the cactus advert was the first in a series of three new ads from Mecca Bingo. It featured Dr Paula who explained to viewers that she's wearing a white coat and that's how she knows we know that we like Dancing Cactus' (surely that's cactii?). We were then treated to the site of a man dressed as a cactus dancing before revealing the brand's welcome offer. It's surreality made it a bingo advert icon and it's just a shame Mecca never expanded upon this. Bet365 had bingoheads, Wink had dancing dogs and Gala sang Galalala - all of which had multiple outings. The cactus was just a one off but perhaps that's why we remember it so well. Just for the record the follow up ads featured a talking tortoise and a creme brulee respectively.
2. Release Your Inner Minx
In 2010 the then owners of Gala Bingo had the idea of a new brand to complement Gala. They called it Minxy and created in our view the worst bingo advert of all time. It started with a browbeaten guy going "Jane! Jane! Jane! You're mum's on the phone" and went down from there. Jane had no interest in her mum or her overweight scruffy husband and much preferred flashing the cash with her young and vibrant online bingo chums. The only noteworthy aspect of the whole thing was that the advert included competition winner Shievonne Robinson. She won the opportunity to appear in the advert and could be seen sat down in the club scene. Minxy Bingo never took off and was soon dropped - the advert probably wasn't the reason but it didn't help.
A few brands have remixed popular tunes to accompany their advertising. Mecca Bingo did the Meccarena whilst Wink adopted D.I.S.C.O. However Gala topped the bingo ad charts with their catchy version of Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye. Gala La La! Gala La La! Hey Hey! Bingo! popped up regularly on our TV screens around 2014. Our review of this particular advert got us into a little bit of trouble as we included some of the less favourable comments made on social media. We concluded our review with "the song is catchy, albeit also irritating in equal measures. We don't think it's the best ever advert and a look on Twitter suggests we're not alone in not being a fan. However this will probably end up as bingo advert of the year! For us though we'll be sticking to playing at the site and enjoying what's on offer there"! Annoyingly Galalal did stick around for some considerable time.
4. Dancing Weimeraner Dogs
Dogs regularly featured in bingo ads but none were as good or as memorable as Wink Bingo's Weimeraner. With some clever computer techniques the dog engaged in some Riverdance style Irish dancing with the lovely lady who had just got a bingo. To be fair it wasn't a good ad and we described the CGI as freaky. However everyone wanted to know what kind of dog featured in the ad and that helped it considerably. Another point worth noting is that the Weimeraner ads (there were two of them) sandwiched a strange time for Wink Bingo. For a short time they deviated on to a naughtier path which included Flirty Bingo With The Dream Idols.
5. Racing Grannies
Everyone probably remembers that the late great Barbara Windsor played The Queen Of Bingo in a host of TV ads for Jackpotjoy. These came out at a time when bingo adverts were a lot of fun and included one of our absolute favourites. The advert featured a couple of golden oldies racing their mobility scooters at - we believe - Santa Pod. The Queen of Bingo was on hand to oversee the action. The strapline for this particular campaign was Just For The Jackpotjoy Of It and featured I Believe In A Thing Called Love from The Darkness. Over time the ads moved on to the Quickity Pick stage that saw Babs star in ads such as Which One Is A True Scotsman and Which One Is A Male Exotic Dancer. If you think that sounds strange then the follow up was an ad with the tune "Stuff Stuff Money Money Stuff Stuff"! When you look back on things like that it's perhaps not a surprise that bingo advertising had to change.
6. Mel B & Costa Bingo
It wasn't unusual to see celebrities popping up in bingo ads. Peter Andre (Gala), Vic Reeves (888 Ladies), Carley & Farley (Coral Bingo), Brian Blessed (Bingo Godz), Vinny Jones (Daily Express), Clare Sweeney (Daily Star) and Jayde Adams (The Sun) are amongst those that featured. However Costa Bingo probably had the biggest star in more ways than one. Their first TV campaign actually featured Spice Girl Mel B! The ad showed an incredibly tall Mel B walking the landscape of London like Godzilla (but obviously a lot more attractive). The owners of Costa at the time definitely liked the idea of a big name supporting their brand. They also owned the now defunct Bgo.com which employed the services of both Verne Troyer and Paris Hilton during it's tenure.
7. Are You Gonna Bingo
Many bingo songs used in TV ads are (or were) simply reworkings of classic hits. D.I.S.C.O became B.I.N.G.O, The Macarena became Mecca-rena and of course there's Galalala. However Sun Bingo decided to be a bit more modern by using the Grime track 'Are You Gonna Bang Doe' by Funky Dee. The song was rewritten for their famous 'Are You Gonna Bingo' campaign. They brought in comedian, Jayde Adams for the ad which saw her rapping stuff like "Tenby, are you gonna bingo, Denby, are you gonna bingo, Scratchy Bottom, are you gonna bingo". At the time we wrote "The song is catchy and Jayde Adams is a breath of fresh air from the usual celebrity endorsements. This is a very strong contender for bingo advert of the month". The latter bit was a bit hopeful because by 2018 there weren't enough contenders for a bingo advert of the year.