We’d be bored out of our minds if we weren’t constantly attacking new industries with heavy-hitting impact.
Days after becoming official sponsors of FWA, wanting to contribute to an industry we are still desperately trying to improve and also knowing our contribution might generate some minor publicity that could attract some exciting clients, the Australian betting brand PointsBet contacted us. Did they see our name on the FWA site? No, that wasn’t it. Andrew from PointsBet had a Swedish girlfriend and found our Swedish Executive Creative Director on Facebook.
PointsBet needed a website for their new brand, assuring us there would be plenty more design work along the way as they prepared to launch. They gave us every indication they were looking for an agency to be their long term partner for all their creative. This wasn’t just about one website. We reviewed and changed every element of their brand, beginning with the logo. And we spoke about the future.
You live and die by your work. Imitate great design to learn, but if you want to be treated with respect then ignore trend and focus on originality.
After designing an impressive landing page complete with heavy-impact imagery and bold copy, our first major task was to produce a promotional video to build anticipation for the launch and for the people at PointsBet to use in meetings to seek additional investment. Helping PointsBet get the investment they needed to build their new brand’s future motivated us on an entire new level. We were with them, and we knew that success at this crucial stage would bring both parties even closer.
Our first concept fell on the side of ‘tradition’ appealing to the experienced and knowledgeable punters that PointsBet target. Using Apple’s ‘The Crazy Ones’ as inspiration, while reading Walt Whitman ‘Leaves of Grass’ and Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If,’ we presented our first concept by making a mockup of the video, sourcing sports footage and writing copy that nods to some of the finest moments in sporting history, addressing an audience “who knows what it takes.”
The second and approved concept goes bold, inspired by ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ music trailer, which has the powerful Kanye West track ‘Black Skinhead’ playing over the top. Another inspiration was PayPal’s ‘New Money’ advertisement. The beat we used was lifted from ‘Hot Nigga’ by Bobby Shmurda. Choosing such a savage beat dictated the footage too, heavy hits and fullout impact. “Go for it,” they said. We perfected the copy and edited the footage, creating a video that was completely in sync: to the beat, to the hits, to each word.
Introducing PointsBet to the world, to the sound of hip-hop, tough tackles and ringing sirens through the cracked atmosphere.
What is gambling? A string of careless guesses? How about we transform its meaning. Gambling with PointsBet is for people who know their shit.
The right inspiration is always important. We’ve got Kanye, Walk Whitman, Kipling, Wolf of Wall Street and Apple, amongst many more. The combination of such disparate influences excites.
It’s about setting the tone, showing PointsBet the brand they need to be; game-changing icons shot through the charged noise of the electric moment.
The bold tone set by the dark landing page was of course continued in the web design. The dark background and subtle noise pattern creates a great deal of attitude, especially when coupled with the striking suggested image we placed at the head of the website: a screenshot of LeBron James from the iconic Nike commercial, ‘Together’. If you haven’t seen it, go see it. What are you waiting for? Of course, PointsBet couldn’t ultimately use this shot, but we were creating the tone of their brand and showing them the type of image they needed. Strong, black and white, profound.
The majority of our projects from 2015 were more wildly creative, and this site represented a pivot in step. Ensuring punters knew where to find the contest on which they wanted to bet, could place a bet with as few clicks as possible, and see supporting statistics that aid their choices was imperative. It goes without saying that we spent just as much time and effort on the aesthetics of our design as ever, but the functionality was just as important on this occasion. The design leads the visitor through the website, meaning their experience throughout the site is smooth, without having to stop and read so much.
At the end of the project, we were left delighted with the work – as were PointsBet – but at the same time knowing that a long term relationship was unlikely. It would take more time than planned for PointsBet to financially establish their business, but we will be here should they get the additional investment to further our relationship. We have to accept that this is out of our control, and that we accomplished everything that was on our plate with skill.
We’re proud of the website and positive of the success it will bring PointsBet should they raise the investment required to put their team in place. Although yet to launch, the site stands as an incredibly detailed and focussed example of a functional website that makes no compromise in artistic merit.
It is perhaps the promotional video that has been our key takeaway from the project. It pointed us towards video and it’s no coincidence that the 2016 portfolio of Alexander Engzell was heavily focussed on video. With PointsBet, we experimented with the artform and since then we have formed a studio in Manchester, England, led by our Director, Chris Caddy. Into the future, boys.