Sportsbet Ad Featuring Shaq Worst Ad of 2022

Sportsbet Ad Featuring Shaq Worst Ad of 2022

Shaquille O’Neal may be one of the all-time greats in the NBA, but he is leaving fans less than impressed with his stint as a spokesman for PointsBet. The four-time NBA champion signed as a PointsBet brand ambassador in January 2021 and has been regularly seen in commercials for the sports betting platform.

However, not all of his ads have been met favourably. According to Australia’s Ad Standards agency, one such ad has been selected as the worst ad spot of 2022. Most of this stems from protests from viewers offended by the ad, causing it to be the most protested ad of the year.

Shaqodile Dundee Ad Shoots Bricks

Earlier this year, PointsBet aired an ad featuring Shaq along with Jack Steele and Matt Ford of Inspired Unemployed. The ad featured Shaq talking to three Aussies about horse racing and the Australian Football League. The Aussies continually used exaggerated gestures and accents throughout the spot. In the end, Shaq referred to himself as “Shaqodile Dundee,” a play on the famous Crocodile Dundee films from the United States.

Back in October, the ad started receiving waves of protests from viewers that found the ad offensive. According to one complaint raised with Australia’s Ad Standards group, “It portrays the ‘Aussies’ as real stupid yobbos. I’m an Aussie too, and don’t identify as a yoobos (sic) lout like these characters are portrayed. It’s offensive to my (sic) as an Australian to see my culture down like this.”

clip from Shaqodile Dundee ad

In another ad with Shaq and the boys from Inspired Unemployed, Shaq is asking about the rules of Aussie Football. In the end, he exclaims, “Oi quarterback, get a dog up ya!” The guys grimace and shake their heads over Shaq’s failed attempts to fit in. This ad did not draw nearly the complaints that the Shaqodile Dundee spot did.

Due to the controversy surrounding the Shaquodile Dundee ad, the Ad Standards group has declared the ad the worst spot of 2022. The dubious honour was given to the ad due to the number of complaints received throughout the year. The Ad Standards group called the ad “insulting and offensive,” particularly to young Aussie men.

Despite the dubious honour, Executive Director Richard Bean admitted that the ad did not break any rules.

PointsBet Defends Shaq Ads as Humour

Back in October, PointsBet defended their ads, stating, ‘Australia, people, and place is known throughout the world to be uniquely different. This uniqueness is a positive trait that extends to our vernacular, places, animals and more.”

‘It is a place like no other with its own peculiar take on the English language and sport. In reality, it is common that persons not familiar with Australiana struggle to understand our colloquialisms, mannerisms and the like.”

pointsbet ad with Shaq

‘The ad is intended to be a comical and playful take on these real to life scenarios.’

In this case, it appears that SportsBet tried a little too hard with its humour. The ads clearly are trying to make Shaq relatable to the Aussie public, and it is sometimes painful to watch. Part of Shaq’s charm is his down-to-earth persona and an ability to self-deprecate. However, the ads tend to go a bit far to make him likable to the average Aussie.

Furthermore, there are ways to bring humour to these situations without going over the top, as was the case of the Shaqodile Dundee bit. The AFL Rules bit was much more believable and better suited for the situation.

While we expect that Sportsbet will continue to try and put Shaq in funny scenarios in the future, we would not be surprised if the company tones down the humor in future ads.

Henry Walker

Henry Walker

Joining Australia Internet Pokies in 2017, Henry provides insights into the world of casinos and dives deep into each online casino to provide reliable reviews you can trust. Henry is a veteran of the gambling industry, having worked for both land-based and online casinos over the past 20 years. Originally from New York, USA, Henry has an in-depth knowledge that few can equal when it comes to casinos. A graduate of Columbia University in Mathematics, Henry headed west to the bright lights of Las Vegas to put some theories to the test. It wasn’t long before Henry was snapped up first as a croupier, then as a consultant to some of the top LV casinos. When the big move to online gambling happened Henry moved with it, and to Australia with his wife. He has spent the last 5 years focusing solely on online casinos. In his spare time, Henry likes nothing more than a good thriller and long hikes.

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