GambleAware is an independent charity for grant-making commissioning treatment and prevention of gambling harms. Its services are spread across Scotland, England, and Wales. The global gambling problem rate is stable at 0.4% in June 2021. There has been a significant decrease in the moderate risk rate from 1.4% in 2020 to 0.7% in June 2021. In the UK, around 45% of people gamble every month and around 24 million adults are gamblers in 2020. Surprisingly, close to half of them prefer online betting and 22% of gamblers place their bets more than 2 times a week.
Why Gambling Isn't Perfect Option for Your Credit Card Balance
GambleAware launched its first campaign in 2019 that aimed at reaching a larger audience apart from problem gamblers using their credit cards. Focused on around 2.4 million men between the 16-34 age group that were identified to be at the highest risk of developing a gambling addiction, the charity had a lot of plans. The Bet Regret campaign tapped into the sinking feeling among punters when they placed a bet with a credit card and regretted it immediately after. Using a credit card to play at online casinos or other similar platforms because of being bored at work, while being drunk, or chasing losses, can lead to a devastating end for a punter’s credit card balance. Bet Regret focuses on recreating the everyday situations that potentially lead regular online gamblers to make impulsive bets.
How Is Digital Marketing Used At GambleAware?
Casinos or bookmakers that take credit cards bring benefits to punters as well as harm. GambleAware aims at reducing gambling harm in the UK. Iain Corby, its deputy chief executive, mentioned that the charity taps into the feeling between placing a bet and waiting for the results. The campaign was a counterbalanced preventative one that focused not only on existing problem gamblers but also punters on with compulsive gambling tendencies, who find it difficult to manage credit card balance when gambling. Corby mentioned that the ad campaign would be more beneficial for the latter group since punters who are already suffering from excessive gambling tendencies might not be able to get the best out of it.
Punters with the existing problem or starting to get towards it might reject the campaign as they see that it is targeted at problem gamblers. Problem gamblers usually do not accept their addiction and believe that the campaign is not meant for them. Recognizing this problem is an issue and psychologists call this ‘othering’.
Preventative Marketing Campaign by GambleAware
Running a preventative campaign that is targeted at gamblers who tend to show early signs of gambling addiction and spend too much from their credit cards is beneficial. They do not feel intimidated and feel the need to engage with such a topic.
The GambleAware campaign’s first advertisement aired during the Liverpool vs Manchester Premier League clash on the 24th of February, 2019. It features a bettor furtively going from his sofa to the kitchen to avoid his partner finding out about his latest betting loss. It then transports the gambler pitchside to Loftus Road stadium, Queen's Park Rangers where he is questioned about his decision to bet by Matt Smith, Sports presenter and former footballers Danny Gabbidon and Dean Saunders. The tagline of the advertisement goes around ‘ You’ll Bet Regret It’.
This shows a drunk man sitting in a kebab shop contemplating the idea of betting on an American Cup fixture. In the next second, we see him in a TV studio in Panama where he faces mockery in Spanish by local pandits due to his lack of knowledge of the teams.
The final advertisement is around horse racing where we see a bored office worker placing a bet while being at work. The match is set to go live just before the Cheltenham races that began on the 12th of March, 2019.
Google, BT Sport, Sky, Clear Channel, and Channel 4, all of them have donated spaces for advert airing. The campaign spanned out home, social, PR, digital ads, and experiential activities designed to reach out to younger male punters across different communities.
Audience Segmentation Done By GambleAware
For a better understanding of the demographics of young gamblers who tend to use their credit cards impulsively, the charity conducted a segmentation exercise in collaboration with YouGov. It circled 2000 people in the target group and the aim was to identify their gambling places, how they gamble and their gambling circle. The insight helped in creative development and identified 3 main segments of punters to target who want to change their gambling behaviour and are concerned about finding ways to get out of their habits. The charity focused on helping such gamblers in their residential treatment centre, all of whom could relate to and understand the content.
How Was GambleAware Marketing Campaign Run?
GambleAware runs focus groups across England, Scotland, and Wales with the family members of the target group. Corby describes them experiencing moments when they recognised similar behaviours portrayed in the adverts. They also mentioned that the campaign would encourage them to talk about their partner’s behavioural pattern, which was the ideal outcome for the charity. Corby mentioned that there was a massive amount of stigma associated with gambling addiction, so, another major benefit of the campaign was to provoke such conversations about the risks attached to gambling for destigmatising it. Providing people with the opportunity to talk about their betting tendencies, GambleAware hoped that Bet Regret would enter the community where credit card gamblers (and not just them, but any gamblers with problem behaviours) feel confident to discuss their issues with their close ones.
The main motive of the GambleAware brand spending on digital marketing is to ensure its preventative campaign will help impulsive bettors curb their gambling tendencies. Overall, GambleAware provided a great example of an efficient marketing strategy for GamStop and similar self-exclusion services. It promotes healthy betting habits and hopes to help all gamblers abusing their credit cards and facing any gambling-related harms which could harm not just their credit card balance but also their relationships over time. Digital marketing is a prominent way that GambleAware hopes to spread its message to a larger audience.