Many problem gamblers acknowledge that if they had recognised the warning signs earlier, they could have stopped before their gambling went too far.
Problem gambling can cause harm to people’s finances, relationships, work, health and wellbeing, regardless of their background or circumstances. There is also stigma attached to gambling, a shame that often prevents people from seeking help. With Gambling Awareness Week approaching, the Department of Human Services reached out to us to help create new messaging, and an integrated campaign that would resonate with a specific audience.
With anything in life, where there are obvious warning signs, there is a chance to take action – to step in and stop something from happening.
But with gambling, it is not always that simple. From a “bit of fun” with friends, to a devastating addiction, gambling can get out of hand quickly and it’s not always easy to spot the early signs of an issue that may be escalating.
With a new campaign, DHS aimed to alert people to the signs to look out for early on, to spark open and honest conversations about gambling harm and encourage people to seek help, before their gambling becomes a problem. As well as promote safer gambling habits to the wider community.
Using information from lived experience, we learnt that many problem gamblers acknowledge that if they had recognised the warning signs earlier, they could have stopped before their gambling went too far.
It was this insight that inspired our direction for this campaign, one that encourages casual gamblers to be aware, to look out for the signs and to seek help before a problem can escalate. ‘Gambling Harm Ahead’ was developed to highlight the early signs of gambling harm.
The visuals were inspired by road sign iconography and designed in the classic neon style often found in gambling venues and pokies rooms. The key messages created were short, simple and easy for people to identify with: Chasing Losses, Borrowing to Bet, Gambling Alone and Financial Stress.
The messaging and visuals were created to attract the audience’s attention, educate people on identifying the signs of gambling harm early, encourage them to “change direction” and remind them that help is nearby if needed.
“Gambling Harm Ahead” is an integrated digital and radio campaign that is having a strong presence across social media.
The final results are eye-catching, unique and quickly communicate the important messages that the campaign was inspired by. By taking real-word scenarios and insights from people in these the situations, we were able to create this campaign in a way that really speaks to the audience and draws not only attention to the issue, but inspires
people to think about their own gambling habits, take action and address warning signs before they escalate into problems that affect families and the community, as well as the individual.
Launched as part of “Gambling Awareness Week” in October 2023, the campaign will continue to run over coming months and encourage viewers to explore help options available to them on the “Office for Problem Gambling” website.