GambleAware, the independent charity tasked with reducing “gambling harms”, is attempting to raise awareness of impulsive betting in order to encourage moderation among millions of young men who gamble regularly on sport.
The campaign, which carries the strapline ‘Bet Regret’, is the first activity from M&C Saatchi since it won the account in July last year. It aims to encourage self-reflection among a target audience estimated at 2.4 million men aged between 16 and 34 as well as help their friends and partners recognise the signs of problematic gambling behaviour.
The campaign was developed after extensive research, consultations with academic experts and several waves of focus groups with frequent bettors.
A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI on behalf of GambleAware provides a snapshot of the current attitudes and behaviours of the campaign’s audience. Some 63% of respondents said there are too many opportunities to bet nowadays, with 67% agreeing that it is easy to get drawn in to make impulsive bets.
One spot features an inebriated man in a kebab shop toying with the idea of betting on a central American Cup fixture. He is instantly transported to a TV studio in Panama where he is mocked, in Spanish, by the local pundits for his lack of knowledge of the teams involved.
A second reveals a gambler furtively moving from sofa to kitchen to avoid his partner discovering a recent betting loss. As he seeks to chase his losses, he finds himself pitch-side at QPR’s Loftus Road stadium, being interrogated by BT Sport’s Matt Smith and former Welsh internationals Dean Saunders and Danny Gabbidon.
The final spot, focused on horse racing, sees a bored office worker placing a bet while at work and will be revealed just before Cheltenham.
The first TV ad will air during the Manchester United versus Liverpool Premier League fixture on Sunday, 24 February. In addition to TV, the campaign comprises digital ads, OOH, social, PR and experiential activity designed to reach young male gamblers in their own communities.
Justin Tindall, chief creative officer at M&C Saatchi, said: “We’ve all done it. Placed a bet that seems like a good idea at the time – usually when you’ve had one too many, have got time to kill or are chasing a losing streak. And these days, it’s never been easier. A couple of taps and before you know it you’ve got a tenner on a midtable clash in the Korean K League.
“This campaign aims to mirror the behaviours of its target audience while introducing them to Bet Regret; that uneasy feeling you get when you place a bet without really thinking it through.”
Professor Sian Griffiths, GambleAware trustee and deputy chair of Public Health England, said: “The Bet Regret campaign is about raising awareness of behaviours that people might not always recognise as impulsive or risky, such as sports betting when drunk, bored or chasing losses. We want people to identify with the campaign, realise they too have those kick-yourself moments when betting and reflect on their behaviours, thus preventing future ill-considered bets which are so often the pathway towards harm.”
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