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Boss of agency behind lampooned ‘I hope Germany win’ anti-gambling campaign: We did not expect it to do so well virally

Goodfellas founder Patrick Low

Goodfellas founder Patrick Low

The boss of the ad agency behind Singapore’s anti-gambling campaign that went viral before the World Cup final has said that the experience has proved to be “positive” for both the agency and the client, despite the campaign drawing global attention for the wrong reasons.

The campaign for the Singapore government’s National Council for Problem Gambling was featured on media outlets as notable as US talk show Jimmy Fallon after a boy in the ad bemoaned his father’s decision to blow his savings on a bet that Germany would win the World Cup. Germany were crowned world champions on Sunday, and the NCPG has since added new copy to its website to justify the prediction made in the commercial.

Patrick Low, co-founder of independent Singapore agency Goodfellas and the former long-time ECD of Y&R Singapore, told Mumbrella today: “To be honest, we did not expect the ad to do so well virally. We set out to create a thought-provoking ad to highlight the ills of problem gambling and got more than the usual response.”

“I see this as a positive experience for the agency from the positive feedback we have received from friends in the industry and all our other clients,” he said.

Low said that his agency remains a partner of the NCPG for the duration of the current campaign. He added that while no business leads have come about as a result of the viral, all of his current clients “wish for a similar result”.

The commercial hosted on the NCPG’s website has been watched almost one million times at the time of writing.

A statement from NCPG, drafted by Singapore’s Ministry of Social and Family Development in the wake of Germany’s humiliation of host nation Brazil and the subsequent bruising of the campaign in social media, reads:

Germany’s 7-1 win over Brazil in the World Cup semi-finals surprised many and resulted in much public attention on NCPG’s campaign on problem gambling. NCPG’s central message is that problem gambling causes harm to individuals and their loved ones, regardless of the nature and outcome of the bet.

As the campaign progressed, we took the opportunity to reinforce the fact that problem gamblers find it hard to stop, regardless of the outcome of any single bet. This is a reflection of real life examples that NCPG has come across. It is thus important that both affected individuals and their family members know where to go to seek help, should they face issues with problem gambling.

At the same time, we would like to clarify that the ads were aired before the start of the final two matches. There are no plans to launch new creatives and we will let the current campaign run its course. The campaign was meant to reinforce the message during the World Cup season which has since ended.

Goodfellas launched the campaign for NCPG at the beginning of July in the lead up to the World Cup to tackle a serious issue in the citystate; Singapore loses more money to gambling per adult than any other country in the world except for Australia, according to a study featured in The Economist.

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