Re-Branding Ohio’s Responsible Gambling Campaign to Tackle New Era of Sports Betting


March 19, 2024

A New Challenge

The world of gambling is changing. Sports betting is now legal in 38 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, and with new apps and betting websites constantly entering the market, it’s easier than ever to participate. As more people bet on sports, the State of Ohio foresees a rising need for resources that help prevent and treat gambling disorders.

Background

Origo Branding has been a partner and collaborator with Ohio for Responsible Gambling (ORG) for many years. It’s a coalition of agencies from the State of Ohio that works to prevent and reduce problem gambling by building awareness around the resources that are available to help people who may be at risk of (or are experiencing) a gambling disorder. As the primary partner of ORG since 2015, we’ve helped create a long list of awareness and outreach campaigns. For example, the Get Set Before You Bet campaign, which included over a dozen video PSAs, multiple online experiences, content marketing strategies, media outreach, conference strategies, and so much more. Now, with new challenges facing our state, Origo was proud to help re-brand this initiative and deploy Pause Before You Play as Ohio’s main responsible gambling prevention campaign.

Initial Research & Launch

Pause Before You Play (PBYP) was initially launched as a sub-campaign in the fall of 2022 after the Governor of Ohio signed legislation to legalize sports betting at the beginning of 2023. Origo conducted surveys and interviews with sports bettors from around the state, as well as problem gambling clinicians and experts, to develop the main campaign message and tactics. A year later, considering the growth of sports betting and the success of the sub-campaign, ORG and Origo decided to replace the main campaign, Get Set Before You Bet, with Pause Before You Play.

Developing a Comprehensive Rebrand

To ensure a successful rebrand, Origo worked with the client team to conduct further in-depth research and surveys to better understand the emerging needs of the target audience. Several creative concepts were considered, each with its own distinctive visual identity and tone of voice. Once ORG approved a new direction, Origo developed a custom website, revamped the campaign’s social media presence, filmed, and produced two high-energy and informative PSAs for TV and radio, and developed accessible toolkits of community resources in several languages for community partners to use in their local outreach efforts. Let’s take a closer look at some of those projects below.

New Web Experience

When it came time to create a new online presence for ORG, we knew we had to incorporate the best practices in UX/UI design that you’d expect from a modern website. Origo overhauled the entire web experience for the rebranded campaign. The website now features design and photography that are action-oriented and sports-themed to reflect the prevalence of sports betting in the state.

We also created an online self-paced quiz that gives visitors an opportunity to rate their risk for problem gambling in just two minutes. The site is thoughtfully designed and serves as an excellent resource for the general public, prevention experts, health professionals, and anyone who’s looking to learn more about responsible gambling.

Imagery & Messaging

While the imagery was updated to primarily focus on sports betting, the messaging also needed to be expanded to include information about all forms of gambling. Origo’s copywriting team wrote new language for the site and throughout the campaign to include helpful and educational info about gambling in general. The team was purposeful in its efforts to adhere to industry standards, avoid stigmatizing language, and offer positive messages for visitors.

Community Toolkits

Origo also updated the Community Toolkits section of the website. New assets were developed in multiple languages and for specific community groups to maximize their benefit all over Ohio. To meet the strategic goal of improving accessibility to these resources, Origo created a page that’s easier to navigate and access. The toolkits are available for anyone to download and utilize for free and can be co-branded to reach specific regional audiences. Furthermore, different translations of toolkits were made available, including Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Russian, and Ukrainian – allowing groups to reach a wide range of populations while remaining culturally competent.

Click here to visit the website.

Social Media Refresh

The best way to get involved with a campaign is to follow along on social media. In line with the new campaign, Origo revamped PBYP’s social media presence on Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and Instagram. The new imagery captures the action and excitement of sports in a way that’s easily recognizable and relatable for the target audience.

Origo coordinates all content calendars, ensuring that messaging is engaging and timely. It depicts the reality that sports betting can be a fun activity for adults to engage in together, but there are some important steps to take to ensure you know your limits before placing a bet. ORG continues to share important information for all Ohioans on the topics of responsible gambling, mental health, treatment, the importance of family support, and more through their social channels.

PSA & Messaging

To formally reintroduce the campaign, Origo created 30-second and 15-second PSA videos. The footage is lively, colorful, and energetic. It depicts two sportscasters excitedly commenting on a young man as he “warms up” before the game by making a responsible betting plan. These PSAs required a significant amount of creative direction so that the footage could be framed to allow for the intricate on-screen graphics developed by our 3D animation team.

We also worked with a sound design partner to create a custom soundtrack to elevate the sports experience. Overall, our partners and audiences have found this to be a clever and informative way to engage individuals in the conversation. The PSAs were launched on both cable and streaming TV and deployed as advertisements on social media. An audio version of the PSA was created for radio advertising.

General Tactics

Finally, Origo updated the general campaign assets to implement in ORG’s statewide media and outreach efforts. Media is planned, placed, and purchased by our in-house media team. Tactics and assets that were updated include digital display ads, billboards, print ads, handouts, and more. The new designs are congruent with the social media and web imagery, putting sports at the forefront. These assets are also available for free co-branding and can be found on the Community Toolkits section of the PBYP website. Origo regularly develops assets that can be easily co-branded to meet the needs of more than one organization.

Conclusion

The campaign was a huge success, helping us reach over 565 million impressions since the launch of our responsible gambling efforts in partnership with Ohio for Responsible Gambling. ORG and Origo continue to use the new branded campaign to share valuable information and resources. We are excited to continue to partner together to create meaningful work for the people of Ohio.

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