The NCPG Singapore Problem Gambling Addiction Advertisement that Backfired

It is probably the most talked-about advertisement in the world – especially in the aftermath of Germany’s World Cup win.

This particular TV advertisement, produced by the National Council of Problem Gambling (NCPG) in Singapore, is about a group of boys talking about their favourite football teams during the World Cup. Then when one of the young boys, Andy, is asked for his pick, he reveals that he hopes Germany will win, because his father had bet all of Andy’s savings on that team.

The ad has been screened during the commercial breaks of most of the Fifa World Cup matches during the tournament.

Source: NCPG

Source: NCPG

If you have not seen the ad yet, you can take a look at it here.

Ad gained international prominence when Germany thrashed Brazil

It had first gained prominence overseas when Germany thrashed Brazil in the World Cup Semi-Finals, thus cementing their status as the favourites to take the title.

So now that Germany has won the title, Andy’s father should be able to return his son’s savings to him.

Purpose was to deter gambling

As the purpose of the advertisement was actually to deter gambling, the ad has become the butt of jokes all over the world – even being featured on prominent international media such as the Wall Street Journal and The Independent, a UK newspaper.

These jokes have even gone to the extent that the NCPG has been touted as the next Oracle – in the same bracket as the late Paul the Octopus, who had predicted all of Germany’s matches correctly during the 2010 World Cup.

Ad has backfired spectacularly

So in this way, the ad has definitely backfired on the NCPG. They have indeed got the attention – but not in the manner they had intended.

But a part of me can’t help thinking that gamblers may use this advertisement against the NCPG because of Germany’s World Cup victory. That’s because they may see it as a form of hope and incentive to gamble, because like Andy’s dad, they will earn their money back if they try one more time.

Why did the NCPG pick Germany anyway?

I really wonder why the NCPG had picked Germany, a strong team. Surely, the writers of the advertisement should have known that Germany had always been one of the favourites to lift the World Cup.

I would say that they were taking a gamble on Germany, in that Die Mannschaft would probably be kicked out of the World Cup. But with Germany’s victory over Argentina in the final, they now find that their own gamble had backfired spectacularly on them.

They could have played it safer by picking England

If they had wanted to play it safe, it may have been wiser to pick one of the teams not likely to win the tournament, such as England.

I mean no offence to the English team, but they have a track record of not showing promise or being able to deliver at international tournaments like this.

Yes, none of us had predicted that England would crash out in the group stages this year. But gambling on a team that is probably likely to exit at either the Round of 16 or the Quarter Finals – as England always usually do – is better than betting on a team that has a very strong chance of winning the whole thing. Then the NCPG ad may have gotten their message across in the manner that they had intended.

And their ad would never have gone viral – if they had chosen this route instead.

A recent update to the NCPG ad

However, that said, the NCPG has recently updated their ad, in the wake of Germany’s successful World Cup campaign – to try and show that gamblers never actually stop doing so.

Source: NCPG

Source: NCPG

Well, in football lingo, this is a spectacular attempt at a “save” on their part. However, I think though, that netizens still have not been entirely convinced by their attempt to salvage this advertising campaign – which they had reportedly blown their advertising budget on.

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