GambleAware is launching its first campaign that aims to reach a broader audience than problem gamblers with a campaign aimed at impulsive gamblers

Focused on the 2.4 million men aged between 16 and 34 that it has identified are at highest risk of a developing a gambling problem, the charity hopes its ‘Bet Regret’ campaign will tap into the sinking feeling that comes after placing a bet you immediately regret.

From betting while bored at work, while drunk or in the hunt to make up losses, Bet Regret seeks to recreate the everyday situations that can lead regular sports gamblers, particularly those who bet online, to make impulsive bets.

GambleAware, the charity tasked with reducing gambling harm in the UK, wants to “intercept” at the key moment when people are putting a bet on, focusing on the regret they feel from placing the bet in the first place, rather than simply the regret of losing.

“We’re tapping into the feeling between placing the bet and well before you know if it’s won or lost,” GambleAware deputy chief executive, Iain Corby, tells Marketing Week.

“That will exist regardless of the outcome and it’s when you’ve done it because you’ve been drinking or you’re a bit bored or you’re trying to win back money you’ve lost already.”

The decision to run a “counterbalancing” preventative campaign, rather than focusing solely on problem gamblers, made sense because if someone is suffering from a gambling disorder an ad campaign probably isn’t going to help, says Corby. In fact, focusing on addiction is often the very thing that turns impulsive gamblers off.

“Anybody with a problem or who is starting to get towards a problem, if they look at a campaign they see as targeted at problem gamblers they will tend to reject it and not believe it is intended for them, because very few people with a gambling problem actually recognise that. The psychologists call this ‘othering’ where you think it is somebody else’s problem and you reject those messages,” Corby explains.

“Running a preventative campaign targeted at people who are perhaps showing the early signs of a gambling problem helps because they’re not intimidated and they feel like they can look into it a bit more and engage with it. It is not as intimidating as a campaign that talks about problems or addictions.”

GambleAware believes it is important the campaign shows environments the target group can relate to. The first advert, which airs during the Manchester United v Liverpool Premier League clash on 24…