All of Norsk Tipping’s marketing is governed by the Gaming Act and the Gaming Regulation.
The legislation’s main purpose is to channel the public’s existing desire to gamble towards games provided in a safe framework subject to government control. It is also meant to ensure that the monopoly providers market themselves adequately, but not more than necessary.
2022: changed competitive landscape
In 2022, the Norwegian Media Authority ordered TV distributors (Telenor, Telia, Altibox, RiksTV and Allente) to halt the marketing of foreign gaming in their distribution. Therefore, in autumn 2022, most of the commercials for illegal gambling providers were removed from Norwegian TV channels when Discovery (now Warner Bros Discovery) suspended TV advertising by such providers. NENT Group (now the Viaplay Group) stopped broadcasting illegal gambling commercials from 1.1.2022.
The illegal providers largely sell games in the casino games and sports games categories. Their marketing has therefore mainly influenced the two categories with the greatest risk of adverse gambling behaviour. Commercials for casino games are prohibited in the regulated market for the sake of responsibility.
Full effect will take time
Norsk Tipping believes eliminating illegal advertising and keeping it away from both TV and digital media will have long-term positive effects in the Norwegian gaming market. The illegal marketing is designed to lure Norwegian players into a gaming offering that mainly consists of online casinos and sports games. These two gaming offerings, and in particular online casinos, are the categories of games that currently present the highest risk of developing problem gambling behaviours.
Meanwhile, the changed media landscape does not mean that illegal gambling offerings have been eliminated from the Norwegian market. So far, there is little to indicate that the unregulated gaming companies have given up the fight to capture illegal market shares in Norway. Digital platforms are being used to market the gaming offerings and make them available. Unregulated providers have spent almost 20 years establishing their brands in Norway, including via TV. These unregulated companies have strong brands, even though they have lost market shares in Norway in recent years. This means it will take time to realise the full effect of the government measures.
As a consequence of the reduction in illegal gambling advertising, Norsk Tipping took a number of steps to adapt its marketing to the changed media landscape in autumn 2022:
- Norsk Tipping significantly reduced the availability of its own online casino on norsk-tipping.no and in the company’s app
- Norsk Tipping changed its planned marketing measures for sports games and suspended the sending of sports games text messages
Norsk Tipping’s marketing
Marketing is one of several means Norsk Tipping uses to prevent adverse gaming behaviour and channel players to a moderate, responsible gaming offering subject to government control.
Our marketing therefore largely focuses on the lotteries, Flax scratch cards and the company’s brand, including our social role and responsible gaming. According to the research, the risk of developing problem gambling behaviours due to Lotteries and scratch cards is low.
Because of the reduced scope of gaming advertising by unregulated providers, we were able to reduce access to high risk games in 2022 and further increase the reduction in marketing seen in recent years. We reduced the availability of our own online casino on both norsk-tipping.no and in the app. We also changed our planned marketing of sports games and the marketing of these games on TV and via text message was suspended.
Norsk Tipping’s marketing by volume
Norsk Tipping’s marketing costs have been cut significantly over time in the belief that in the long-term the regulation will become even more effective against illegal providers. Many of the changes seen in the illegal market in 2022 were therefore already anticipated by Norsk Tipping.
The fact that Norsk Tipping has in the last 3 years more than halved its exposure on TV (measured in terms of TV rating points) is one example of how its marketing has been adapted.
The accounting items for advertising, sponsorship and promotion amounted to NOK 314 million for 2022. This accounts for 3.5 per cent of the company’s net turnover, a decrease from 3.8 per cent in 2021 and 4.4 per cent in 2020. Norsk Tipping’s sponsorships are partly used to contribute to social development through work on areas such as equal opportunities, combating exclusion and developing good role models in the Norwegian voluntary sector.
Less gaming advertising
Media sales figures from the analysis company Nielsen are often used to assess the total size of the advertising market. The figures are not directly comparable with the accounting figures, where one recognises the actual expenditure, although they do show media revenue reported by the media channels. The figures do not include all digital media buys, although they still provide an overview of the value of advertising for traditional media channels.
Figures from Nielsen show that the overall advertising market for gaming dropped by 19 per cent in 2022, if one disregards digital marketing. This means that gaming advertising accounted for 1.5 per cent of all non-digital advertising in Norway in 2022, compared with 2.8 per cent in 2021.
Share of voice (SOV) is a term that is often used to describe a company’s share of the advertising market. Norsk Tipping increased its SOV in comparable media from 42 per cent in 2021 to 49 per cent in 2022 in the gaming category (source: AC Nielsen). This is lower than expected because unregulated gaming providers continued to market gaming via Warner Bros Discovery during large parts of 2022. If one includes all sectors and looks at the total market, Norsk Tipping’s SOV is on a par with the year before at 0.7 per cent.
Norsk Tipping’s marketing in content
One challenge the gaming industry faces internationally is that gaming advertising is generally perceived as aggressive and intrusive. One important goal for Norsk Tipping has always been to carry out effective, relevant and adequate marketing. In order for marketing to be effective, it is important that it conforms to the standards and expectations the public have with respect to Norsk Tipping, at the same time as the consumer is aware of the risks of gaming and the tools offered by Norsk Tipping.
Norsk Tipping delivered three of the 10 best liked commercials in Norway in 2022.
The table below shows the best liked commercials in 2022 in the ranking of commercials by Mediacom and Kampanje:
Samfunnsrolle og ansvarlig spill
It is important to point out that in addition to marketing its games, Norsk Tipping also promotes its social role, which includes responsibility. 22 per cent of Norsk Tipping’s spending on TV advertising was dedicated to this in 2022. Communication related to surplus funds accounts for a modest part of this.
We want our marketing to create a gaming market that focuses on safe, ‘green’ games like the lotteries category. The lotteries category accounts for 60 per cent of Norsk Tipping’s spending on TV advertising. In March 2022, together with our international partners, we launched a second draw day for Eurojackpot, a new prize structure and a new maximum prize. That meant that we were also launching a new top prize in the Norwegian lotteries market with a potential prize of more than NOK 1 billion.
Marketing responsible gaming
Important football matches and championships result in more gaming activity. The football World Cup has historically contributed to an increase in gaming activities that can be green, yellow or red in nature. Norsk Tipping therefore mainly concentrated its marketing efforts on responsible gaming before and during the World Cup in Qatar. In parallel with this, the focus on sports games was toned down in order to help reduce the risk of adverse gambling behaviour.
We launched a new commercial in connection with the World Cup that focused on responsible gaming as well as our social mission. The marketing was distributed via both digital channels and on TV, especially at half time in World Cup matches. Analyses show that the audience understood the message and that it was clear that the messenger was Norsk Tipping.
Our products and marketing are subject to labelling requirements. Contact information for the Helpline, age limits and the odds of winning are among the information that must be available in different contexts.