Are gambling addictions really an issue for young people? You bet.
A 2012 study of pathological gamblers in Ohio showed that problem gambling occurs most frequently in guys between 18 and 24 years old. And when someone starts gambling early, there’s a much higher chance that they’ll develop a gambling problem later in life.
Our approach focused on prevention to stop problem gambling before it even started. Sadly, 18- to 24-year-old guys were either unaware of or unconcerned about the issue. We needed a way to grab their attention, and preachy marketing messages wouldn’t do. Someone had to get shaved.
The campaign, dubbed “I LOST A BET,” displayed various consequences of absurd bets between friends.
Paired with a hashtag or URL, the creative execution used tease and intrigue to tap into conversations already happening among our target and drive them to the website. Once there, visitors learned the signs of problem gambling, could send an anonymous email to a friend who might have a gambling problem, and shared their stories, photos and videos on social media. The silly turned serious as our message became clear:
Some bets are funny, and some are not.
In the first month, we earned
21.5 million media impressions
and boasted an 84 percent open rate
on anonymous emails.
Our tweet-for-a-tee system cleaned out our supply of shirts in just 12 days. More importantly, we engaged our audience about a serious problem that had been neglected. Jackpot.