This essay aims to analyse a local television advertisement campaign aired in Singapore during the World Cup Series of 2010. The advertisement was commissioned by the National Council on Problem Gambling. Through identifying the target audience, semiotics, messages, this essay studies the contexts of the advertisement and its success. The three theories applied in this essay are Stuart Hall’s Reception Theory, Hypodermic Needle Theory and Uses & Gratification Theory.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) was initiated by the Singapore government in 2005 to raise awareness and drive public education in efforts to curb problem gambling, shortly after the launch of Singapore’s first legalised casino gambling resort, Marina Bay Sands. The council operates directly under the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
Compromising of 17 members with expertise in psychiatry and psychology, social services, counselling, legal, rehabilitative and religion services, the council’s main roles include commissioning research on gambling addictions and providing feedback and advice to the MSF on social concerns that are related to problems arising from gambling. The council also supports and implements public education programmes and outreach on problem gambling programs. NCPG also holds the authority to execute casino exclusions and casino visit limits in line with the Casino Control Act and within prevailing policies on casino social safeguards.
Know the Line Movement
In 2009, NCPG launched the Know the Line movement to educate the public on the consequences of problem gambling (National Council on Problem Gambling, 2009). Executed in both English and Mandarin, the movement aimed to reinforce the dividing line between social and problem gambling, and drive self-appraisal to prevent individuals from becoming a problem gambler.
Know the Line was an integrated communications campaign leveraging mass media, social media, as well as on-ground outreach and support. Apart from the television commercial, NCPG also drove several complementary efforts including partnerships with voluntary welfare organizations, community groups, worker associations and employers.
World Cup No Penalty Campaign
In line with the 2011 World Cup Series, NCPG launched its World Cup No Penalty campaign to raise awareness on problem gambling in soccer. In a press release issued in June 2010, the NCPG stated that the campaign aimed to address the issue of problem gambling among avid soccer fans, especially young males in their 20s – the demographic that soccer betting is most prevalent amongst (National Council on Problem Gambling, 2009).
The campaign consisted of three key communication assets, namely, a Know the Line Cheer Squad, an interactive online game and a television advertisement. The cheer squad and interactive online game were soccer themed and were executed at high-traffic locations, both physically and virtually, such...