The Entities who comprise Wicked Chops Poker were discussing the genuine brilliance of Full Tilt’s advertising campaigns recently.
Despite all of the issues that arose from the leadership of Ray Bitar, Full Tilt outpaced its competitors in two areas: technology and marketing/advertising.
Had this been any other industry, Tilt’s ad work–led by highly revered consultants Bob Wolf/TPG and primarily produced by Ben Weiner of the Wong Doody agency (who sound like the PERFECT firm to handle the Santorum campaign account)–would’ve been CLIO worthy.
Along with deciding to stay in the U.S. after the UIGEA and building an unbelievable platform, the impact of Tilt’s ad campaigns were one of the top reasons why the company became the second largest online poker room in the world.
Post-Black Friday though, some of the Wong-Doody-Weiner spots almost take on a completely different meaning.
With that in mind, here are our Top 5 Full Tilt Ads That Take on Totally Different Meanings Post-Black Friday.
5. My Chips
Best Line: “The way I see it, those are my chips…you’re just holding them for me.”
It’s a shame this one had to be VO’d by Patrik Antonius. If it had been Howard Lederer or Chris Ferguson, we would’ve jumped it a few spots. Still, as we’re into 2012 and not one player has seen a penny from Tilt post-shutdown, that “those are my chips, you’re just holding them for me” line stings like a mouthful of bees.
4. ONYX Cup.
Best Line: “Playing all six events in the ONYX Cup series will cost you a million dollars.”
What Ali Nejad forgot to add was, “…of other people’s money.”
While the ONYX Cup isn’t a Wong Doody spot, it’s effectively an Internet-based infomercial, and is very applicable to this list.
We our readers know, we were unabashed fans of the ONYX Cup, and not just because we broke the story. It was like a rich man’s Epic Poker. Announced just a month before The Events of 4/15, the ONYX Cup was symbolic of the over-the-top arms race, the look-my-dick-is-bigger-than-yours battle between PokerStars and Full Tilt. It was also like the last hurrah before the fall of the Roman Empire. $30M total prize-pool. $100-350k buy-ins. And apparently, all with player money that they didn’t have! Good times.
3. Faceless Assassins
Best line: “I know you’re coming for me.”
Apparently this one was about the DoJ, but they didn’t know it at the time, and sadly they were not ready.
Best line: “We play because the nights we lose are the nights we learn the most.”
This was an amazing ad at the time. Tilt knew it too (Howard Lederer previewed it to one of the Entities about a week before the final cut was made). About two years later though, the expressions on the faces of the Tilt pros–juxtaposed against that music track–is pretty spot-on for how everyone is still reeling from the Black Friday indictments.
1. Board Rooms & Poker
Best line: “Reading risk and reward here isn’t much different than reading it on a spreadsheet.”
Fuck, this should be Exhibit A in the prosecutor’s evidence list.
This ad is basically a testament to how the company was run. It’s unbelievable. As they said, “poker is like business, without the conference calls.” Or financial accounting procedures. Or segregation of player funds. [banging head against wall]
Honorable Mentions: The Howard Bracelet Ad (best line: “I was down to my last few chips, so I had to call.”), Go With Your Gut (best line: “Sometimes you just have to go with your gut”) and the Phil Ivey Poker Face Online Viral Ad (best line: “Hey buddy, back of the line.”)