If anyone was in doubt as to whether or not Phil Ivey is a celebrity in the true sense of the word then they need look no further than the new TV ad for the Chrysler 300.
Unlike many “poker celebrities” that have made a name for themselves within the industry, Ivey is among a small group of grinders that have transcended the game and entered into the realms of mainstream notoriety.
Although his appearance in the ad is fleeting, the fact he’s aligned alongside some of the most America’s leading sports personalities, entrepreneurs and celebrities shows that he’s a well respected figure.
In fact, the theme of the ad, which was been created by the Wieden+Kennedy Agency, is success through hard work.
Ivey the Poker King
All of the “Kings and Queens of America” featured in the ad have been chosen because they embody the values of dedication, vision and entrepreneurial success. Reading between the lines, the message being portrayed by the advertisment is that the new Chrysler 300 is an aspirational car for aspirational people.
“The Chrysler brand celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit of Americans who refuse to give up, dedicate themselves to a craft and have the guts to turn dreams into reality,” said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer of FCA – Global, the company pushing the ad campaign.
So what does Ivey actually do in the advert? Well, not much other than walk through a casino looking dapper in a new suit.
Giving the camera one of his trademark poker stares as Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage narrates the action, Ivey looks every bit the professional alongside the likes of Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian, San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon and hotelier, Avi Brosh.
Poker in the Mainstream
Of course, Phil Ivey isn’t the first poker player to feature in a national TV ad. In 2014, Phil Hellmuth appeared as one of the main representatives of burger chain, Carl’s Jr. Starring in a commercial that played on his image as someone with a big mouth, Hellmuth can be seen sizing up the “Texas BBQ Thickburger” before stuffing as much as he can into his mouth.
Although the brand Hellmuth represented might not be as prestigious as Chrysler, the fact the poker players are able to feature in national ad campaigns shows how far poker has come in the last few years.
Recognizing Ivey’s achievements in the poker world as something that embodies the entrepreneurial spirit of America is a long way from the old image of poker players as gamblers.
Although there is undoubtedly a long way to go in terms of poker’s public perception, the latest appearance by Ivey will certainly help the game’s overall image.