The Delaware Council on Gambling Problems (DCGP) has gotten creative with its Aloysious Butler & Clark (AB&C) advertising campaign, designed to highlight the problems of gambling addiction. This was a necessity for the non-profit opertation, which is funded by a government body with annual revenue of under $2m.
In order to compete with the billion-dollar promotional campaigns of casinos and sports operators, the DCPG created an award-winning ad campaign. The amusing AB&C adverts feature fictional sports betting guru ‘Don Ciccanowski’, an over-the-top caricature who could be mistaken for a Sacha Baron Cohen character.
‘Don Ciccanowski’ offers too good to be true promos and bait-and-switch scams. This questions viewers’ decision-making as they ask if they would (or have) entertained the advice of such a charlatan.
The DCGP has worked with the advertising agency AB&C for more than seven years now, but this was by far the most irreverent marketing campaign they attempted.
In casting the eponymous role of ‘Don Ciccanowski,’ AB&C selected local Delaware DJ Allen Hite, who could play both the slapstick routine and also lean into a serious tone for the discussion of gambling addiction.
AB&C managing partner and chief creative officer Steve Merino commented: “Someone on our team suggested that in this gambling space right now, everybody is spending a lot of money to have a celebrity face. So, we said, `Wouldn't it be funny if we created our own character who was a little bit of a sleazeball?'”
This comic take has turned out to be a major guerilla marketing coup for both AB&C and the DCGP. The 10-month campaign won the Best in Show award at the recent Healthcare Advertising Awards, beating more than 4,400 other entries nationwide.