I have written before about the amount of gambling advertisements on our televisions at the moment and as expected nothing has changed since. What I would like to draw your attentions to today is the way the advertisers use events and symbols of authority to their advantage to get you to part with your money.
To start with let us look at Leicester City’s Premier League win. On the preceding weeks, as it looked more and more likely that they were going to win it, press releases from various bookmakers made it public knowledge that they were paying out early. These press releases would be along the lines saying a customer had cashed in his bet. One example reported in the press was a man who placed a £20 bet at the now well-known odds at the start of the season of 5000/1 and received £29000. This shows two things; 1 the bookies want you to cash out early. They are encouraging you to cash in early because they think you are going to win. They don’t pay out early if they think you will lose. Paying out early when they realise the gambler will probably win is their way of reducing the loss. In this example the man in question would have received £100 000. That’s quite a saving for the bookmaker concerned. By releasing these stories they put out there that the idea of cashing in early is a good idea. They know the gambler will hold on to the end if he’s certain he will win so they have to shake his confidence. Stories like this are often reported in the press (as in this case) containing an interview with the gambler saying why he cashed in early. This, if read by someone with a similar bet may change their mind and encourage them to cash in on their bet and save the bookie more money, shake that confidence. The press and bookies have been talking about the bookmaker’s losses due to the Leicester City win but in reality there is no losses. They won all the bets for other teams to win the Premier League so don’t feel sorry for the bookie. Bookies don’t make losses. There is a reason they have 4 windows to place bets and 1 window to collect your winnings in any bookmaker’s shop.
The other way the gambling advertisers manipulate is a technique used in many advertisements for many different products and industries. The use of trustworthy and authoritative figures. Usually these adverts have actors playing normal everyday people just like you and me telling us how great something or company is. We trust them because we believe they’re not actors, they’re normal people, so why would they lie. An example of this tactic is Tracy Brabin who has played parts in four separate advertising campaigns, all playing different people for different companies. In her latest advertisement she plays alongside actress Heather Kemble (also a “nana” in a breakfast cereal commercial) as mother and daughter. While they don’t lie in this type of commercial actual users of s product don’t have to say what they’re told while actors and actress’ do. I mean “it’s great, works really well” sells better than “it’s great when it works but when it goes wrong they don’t want to know”. The thing to bear in mind when watching this type of commercial is they are not the testimonial they appear to be. While this is not a gambling advert this method is used for all types of product including gambling. The Ladbrokes life campaign springs to mind but I can’t find information on those actors in the ads.
Authoritative figures such as men of the cloth have been used recently to encourage gambling. I don’t know if the Post Code Lottery advertisements are of the testimonial type using actors or are genuine people but the latest ad has a vicar or priest as a winner saying he’s been telling his congregation to play because somebody has to win. You don’t have to be religious to know that priests and vicars are generally against gambling as is the bible but here is one telling you to do it. These men and women don’t lie, they guide their flock to do what’s right. So why is this man telling us to gamble in this way. Like I’ve said, I don’t know if he is an actor or not. Quite often actors taking part in this type of ad don’t want to act so slick and professional so as to look more like an average person who would be more nervous and not at ease in front of the camera. So it’s impossible to say whether he is genuine or not. But he’s gold to the advertiser, why? Because of that dog collar. Whether you are a religious person or not here is someone who knows the right thing to do, people go to him for advice and here he is, telling you to gamble. It doesn’t matter whether or not your losses go to a bookie or charity, it is gambling which can lead to problems for some people and those commissioning these adverts just want to take you money.
So remember when you are watching these advertisements the people telling you to give your money away by gambling may not appear to be what they seem. When it comes to gambling you should always ask yourself “can I afford to lose?” If the answer is no then don’t do it. Do you need the buzz? If the answer is yes you may have a problem.
Remember if you do have, or think you may have a gambling problem then hypnotherapy can help you get control of your life back. It can’t recover the money you’ve handed over in return for the gambling thrill but it can help you not to hand over any more of it.