TitleLet’s Open Up About Gambling
Campaign Let’s Open Up About Gambling
Advertiser GambleAware
Brand GambleAware

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PostedApril 2023
Business SectorSubscribers Only
Media Type Television

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 tackles gambling stigma with innovative smoke-filled billboard created by Lucky Generals…

…as figures from the first wave of its “Let’s open up about gambling” campaign show that 93% of campaign recognisers claimed to have taken action as a result of the campaign

A new GambleAware campaign from Lucky Generals sees a state-of-the-art perspex billboard that slowly fills with smoke hit the streets of Birmingham in a hard-hitting new special build.

The work appears as figures show that the first wave of the GambleAware campaign, jointly created with freuds+, OmniGov, flipside and Ipsos, saw more than 8,000 people contact the National Gambling helpline during the campaign period - a 9% uplift when compared to the previous period. 

Research from pre- and post-wave surveys completed with Ipsos shows that three-quarters (75%) of the Behaviour Change Audience (BCA) recognised at least one element of the campaign. The majority (93%) of campaign recognisers within the BCA claimed to have taken action as a result of seeing the campaign.

It also found that the most likely action from respondents who had seen the campaign included taking steps to either reduce (30%) or monitor their gambling behaviour (29%) as well as talking to someone about their gambling (25%). The figures also showed that the campaign has increased perceptions among the target audience that it is okay to talk more openly about gambling harms (67%). It also found that the audience was less likely to feel judged post-campaign, with a 4% reduction in feeling those who gamble are solely responsible for the harm they may experience. 

The innovative billboard will appear on the streets of Birmingham from today. It will be a perspex box featuring a poster with the message: “Gambling clouded everything I did”. The box is then filled with smoke, gradually obscuring the text and replicating the feelings of distraction and isolation felt by someone experiencing gambling harms.

Birmingham was chosen as the home of the special build due to research showing that up to 38,000 adults in Birmingham are experiencing ‘problem gambling’ – the most serious level of gambling harm – over 55% higher than the Great Britain average. The campaign is supported by a range of voices, ex-Stoke City player Tony Kelly, along with the Professional Football Supporters’ Association, Aston University, Birmingham City Council, as well as numerous national and regional partners, including, Aquarius, Armada FC, Bluepool FC and Nechells Athletic.

The special build follows a host of new assets released as a part of wider campaign activity which have been designed to convey the real-life emotions felt by those experiencing gambling harms, from the fear of how others perceive them to the crushing financial and emotional weight they feel burdened with.

These include animated DOOH assets that communicate feelings of ‘emptiness’ with liquid seeming to drain out of a billboard, and ‘being followed by gambling advertising’ with moving eyes fixing on people as they walk past. Other campaign assets include a range of animated social adverts, radio creative utilising a real interview and several press ads that utilise unconventional print formats to compliment their messaging.

Nick Bird and Lee Smith, Creative Directors at Lucky Generals, said: “Our work with GA has always been based on speaking to people with lived experience of gambling harms. One of the key difficulties that came up repeatedly was how gambling harms cloud every aspect of someone's life. We wanted to find a way to bring to life that feeling in a disruptive and visually arresting way."

Alexia Clifford, Chief Communications Officer at GambleAware, said: “Gambling can be addictive, and gambling harm can happen to anyone. That's why our stigma campaign is so important, and we’re really proud of the positive impact this work has already had. This latest phase in Birmingham will build on that success and encourage anyone worried about how gambling makes them feel to reach out for free help and support available by searching GambleAware.”

Julia Bainbridge, Partner at Freuds, and Founder of Freuds+ said:“The success of our latest joint endeavour in Birmingham, a city disproportionately affected by gambling harms, underscores the impact of combining powerful narratives with innovative creative. Tackling a topic as complex and as nuanced as stigma demands a considered earned strategy that delivers both breadth and depth of messaging. As we continue to champion this integrated approach, we're not just breaking down barriers; we're building bridges to better futures for those affected by gambling harms."

This burst of activity is the latest from GambleAware's “Let's open up about gambling” brand platform, which aims to reduce the stigma surrounding gambling harms. It does this by bringing to life people’s experience of gambling harms and positioning them as a public health concern in an effort to change societal perceptions and encourage affected individuals to seek support. The campaign was created in collaboration between Lucky Generals, Freuds+, OmniGov, 23Red, Flipside and Ipsos. The second wave of this began in November 2023.

Both campaigns followed research from the Treatment and Support Survey that highlighted that 75% of people experiencing ‘problem gambling’  feel like they can’t open up about the issue. Gambling harms – or the negative consequences of gambling – are a complex and growing public health learning, with data suggesting that among adults who gamble, one in five (22%) are experiencing any problems from their gambling.

Lucky Generals were awarded gold for the 2023 Media Week Awards for the category "Media Idea: Launch" and have been shortlisted for the 2024 Media Week Awards within the "Total Communications Campaign" category.


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