If everyone is talking about your advertisement, that's a good thing, isn't it?
After Germany's demolition of Brazil, young Andy became the talk of the town.
In a TV advertisement meant to encourage responsible gambling, Andy, surrounded by a group of friends, dejectedly reveals his father had bet all his savings on a team to win the World Cup this year.
Except the team his "father" picked was Germany, a team many are now tipping to win the World Cup.
Andy's the main character in a television advertisement produced by local advertising agency Goodfellas and commissioned by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG).
Within hours of Germany's win, netizens across cyberspace spared no time and began posting online their take on the advertisement.
Andy and his gang have since gone viral on Facebook, Twitter and many other online news platforms.
Among the first to point out the irony of the advertisement was local blogger Mr Brown, who posted the words "Always trust your laopeh (father)" on his blog early yesterday morning after the match concluded.
Even political leaders have chimed in on the action. Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck commented on his Facebook page yesterday morning: "At least the boy in the advertisement can get his savings back."
Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin quipped: "Looks like the boy's father who bet all his savings on Germany will be laughing all the way to the bank!"
Some netizens have also directed their humour towards the NCPG, joking that the Council should have picked another team with lower odds of winning to use in the advertisement.
Other advertising agencies based in Singapore had mixed responses about the ad's newfound fame.
Ms Mabel Wee, 36, from Sparkfury, said that even if Germany go on to win the World Cup, it still would not mean that gambling is the right way to go, adding that the public should have a broader view of the situation than just the outcome of a single game.
Ms Simran Gill, 23, a junior analyst at WPP, a British multinational advertising and public relations company, said the results of yesterday's game reinforced the advertisement's message that gambling is risky because of how unexpectedly some matches can pan out.
She said the more people discuss and circulate the advertisement online, the more publicity the anti-gambling cause receives, as it has now "become a part of Singapore's popular culture".
But Ms Sonal Narain, 38, the head of OgilvyChange Singapore, Ogilvy & Mather's Behavioural Sciences Practice, said the ad campaign backfired because it "piggybacked on a sporting event", adding that major events "have the potential to undermine or overpower a brand's message".
And what of NCPG? Nothing has changed, said a spokesman, adding that regardless of the outcome of a game, the anxiety and pain suffered by the loved ones of a problem gambler remains. NCPG also reiterated that they will not take the advertisement off the air.
NCPG chose Germany to lend it a sense of realism, since "no one will bet on a potentially losing team".
Some had suggested the campaign would have been better if Andy's father had picked another team instead of Germany. Like England.
But who would have believed the campaign then?
This article was first published on July 10, 2014.
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