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About Lucky Generals

Lucky Generals is a creative company for people on a mission. An Emmy-nominated, multi-award-winning agency, with creativity at its core, we believe in making work that makes a difference. Founded in 2013 by Helen Calcraft, Andy Nairn and Danny Brooke-Taylor, Lucky Generals is now an international agency with offices in London and New York. Clients include Amazon, OVO, Virgin Atlantic, The Co-op and Yorkshire Tea. 

Latest News

GambleAware launches first-of-its-kind ‘crushed billboard’ with Lucky Generals

The campaign is being supported by Paul Merson, the ex-Arsenal and England midfielder who has spoken openly about his recovery from gambling harms

Lucky Generals has created a striking “crushed billboard” and placed it outside the Emirates Stadium ahead of the final games of the season.

The headline on the poster reads: "It felt like gambling was crushing me until I talked to someone"

Beer mats, highlighting the other ways in which gambling harms can affect how an individual feels, have also been placed in the pubs surrounding the stadium to engage fans attending the game in an environment where gambling is typically discussed and encourage them to start a conversation about gambling harms.

The activation is part of a campaign launched by GambleAware to reduce the stigma associated with gambling harms and inspired by 50 hours of interviews with people with lived experience of gambling harms, the top of the billboard has been crushed in the middle to highlight the overwhelming impact gambling harms can have on an individual. 

The billboard was placed outside North London’s Emirates Stadium because GambleAware data suggests that people in London are twice as likely to experience problems with gambling compared to the rest of Great Britain, but two-thirds of Londoners (66%) would be put off talking to someone with gambling issues about their gambling, because of concerns related to stigma[1].

The campaign, which aims to break down the stigma associated with gambling harms and encourage people affected to seek help, is supported by former England and Arsenal midfielder, Paul Merson, who has spoken out about his struggles with gambling harms in the past, as well as the Football Supporters Association (FSA) and the Arsenal Supporters Trust.

Lucky Generals worked closely with Freuds+ who handled regional and sports PR outreach and 23red, who delivered the partnerships with FSA & Arsenal Supporter's Trust as well as distributing the beer mats. 

Paul Merson, English former professional footballer who is in recovery from gambling harms, said: “My gambling addiction left me feeling like I was a bad person, when really I just needed help. The stigma around this very real public health issue means that so many vulnerable people feel they can’t talk to their loved ones or seeking support, and something has to change. Gambling harms can affect anyone, nobody is immune, and GambleAware’s new billboard outside Arsenal’s home ground will serve as a powerful reminder that help is always available if you’re struggling with your gambling.”

The work is part of the 'Let's open up about gambling' brand platform developed by Lucky Generals and launched by GambleAware earlier this year. The agency has created a distinctive visual and verbal identity for the brand as well as developing a long-term strategy that is built around people with lived experience of gambling harms. The platform encourages a more open conversation about the way gambling can make people feel in the hope that more people will use GambleAware's advice, tools and support.

It launched with a campaign that spanned TV, OOH, print, radio and social.

Alexia Clifford, GambleAware Chief Communications Office, said: “Gambling harms are hidden and complex in nature. For many people, feelings of shame and embarrassment prevent them from opening up to loved ones. Gambling harms can affect anyone, and it’s important that we break down the stigma and encourage people to come forward and talk.

We are launching this billboard in sight of the Emirates stadium, and hope that any match-going fans who see it and are worried about their gambling feel empowered to open up and speak to someone to get help and support.”

Nick Bird and Lee Smith, Creative Directors, Luckies Quote: "Crushing. Overwhelming. Foreboding. Just some of the feelings associated with gambling harms. Feelings that are visceral but kept hidden inside. To confront the stigma associated with these feelings, we designed this billboard to bring them to life in a way that can't be ignored. We want to show those currently experiencing gambling harms that we understand how they're feeling and assure them that help is available. We also hope to raise awareness more broadly that gambling harms aren't just related to how much money you're losing.”

Jo Mustafa, 35, lives in Luton and is in recovery from gambling harms, said: “I started gambling after winning a one-off bet on a football match. From that moment, something changed in my brain and it spiralled into an addiction. It reached a point where gambling harms left me feeling completely isolated, and like this billboard shows, it made me feel crushed. This all had serious toll on my mental health, and I know gambling addiction affects so many people in different ways. The road to recovery has not always been smooth, but I am so glad that I took the first step in seeking support. For anyone out there who is struggling, please remember that there are people who understand and who can help you get through this. Opening up the conversation will help us to break the stigma around gambling harms and encourage others to come forward and seek help.”

[1] GambleAware commissioned Ipsos UK to conduct Stigma Polling. Key findings April 2023 available here.

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