Marketing of gaming
In 2021, the amended Broadcasting Act changed the framework for gaming advertising targeted at Norwegian viewers. Norsk Tipping reduced its advertising spend in 2021.
Norsk Tipping’s marketing is regulated by the marketing guidelines under the auspices of Norsk Tipping AS and the Norsk Rikstoto Foundation (in Norwegian), which are established by the Ministry of Culture and Equality and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food. The guidelines were adjusted from 1.1.2021. The main objective remains ensuring that the monopoly companies market themselves adequately, although not more than what is required to channel the public’s appetite for gaming to a safe framework under government control.
Norsk Tipping has adjusted its marketing in line with the new guidance in the revised guidelines. The adjustment consisted of several major and minor changes to both content and volume. For example, all marketing was clearly marked with responsible gaming. The company toned down the visual expression of its marketing of jackpots and introduced stricter business rules for marketing the company’s product portfolio. References to the Helpline were integrated throughout the customer journey.
The company is required to label products and marketing. Contact information for the Helpline, age limits and the chances of winning are among the information that must be available in different contexts. The labelling requirements are set out in, for example, the marketing guidelines, as mentioned above, the games rules and in the proposed new Gaming Act (Proposition to the Storting 220 L (2020-2021)) (in Norwegian).
Norsk Tipping channels players from unregulated gaming providers.
Norsk Tipping conducts its own customer surveys of movements in the player base and regularly conducts trackers, where customers and the public are asked about relevant topics. The responses support Norsk Tipping’s perception that the company is channelling players from higher risk unregulated gaming providers (sports and casinos), while maintaining its strong position in lower risk categories (lotteries and scratch games). The proportion of the population who play games has remained stable for the last 10 years.
In its marketing work, Norsk Tipping has committed to strengthening its position among the public as a responsible gaming provider. Analyses and impact studies of the company’s marketing show that the level of marketing communication was well suited to achieving the company’s goals and ambitions.
Norsk Tipping’s advertising spend was lower than in 2020. Some technical accounting changes were made in 2021 that mean that the expenditure on marketing in 2021 is not directly comparable with all of the items in 2020, see note 4.
In 2021, Norsk Tipping spent NOK 327 million on sales, marketing and sponsorships. It is worth noting that even without the technical accounting changes, Norsk Tipping has reduced its expenditure on buying advertising and marketing.
Between 2015 and 2021, expenditure on buying advertising decreased by 21.8 per cent.
Based on the adjustments to the marketing guidelines and the introduction of government measures designed to limit the marketing of unregulated gaming providers, Norsk Tipping further adjusted its marketing between 2020 and 2021, where the expenditure on buying advertising was reduced by 6.6 per cent.
In 2021, Norsk Tipping worked to renew, adapt and improve its advertising messages in accordance with the new marketing guidelines. This resulted in an increased emphasis on the responsibility message in the marketing in all channels. The adjustments resulted in slightly higher advertising production costs compared with 2020. In addition to this comes price inflation in the media market, which applies to most media channels.
Norsk Tipping has not increased its activities in direct marketing or its other channels.
If all sectors are included and one looks at the total Norwegian advertising market, the market increased by about 7 per cent from 2020 to 2021.1
1) Source: AC Nielsen v/RED Dentsu
One important goal for Norsk Tipping has always been to carry out effective, relevant and adequate marketing.
Lotteries and the competition situation
The marketing of the lottery category and the company’s social role were priorities in 2021. The aim was to channel the appetite for gaming into ‘greener’ game categories (lotteries) where the risk of problem gaming is lower.
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. Norsk Tipping delivered five of the ten best liked commercials in Norway in 2021.2
2) Source: Mediacom, 8.1.2022
Norsk Tipping on top
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 share of voice in comparable media from 22.9 per cent in 2020 to 36 per cent in 2021 in the gaming category. This is lower than expected, since unregulated gaming providers continue to marketvia Discovery. If one includes all sectors and looks at the total market, Norsk Tipping’s SOV is on a par with the year before, 0.7 per cent.3
3) Source: AC Nielsen
Unregulated gaming providers reduced their gross TV spend by 65 per cent compared with 2020, largely due to the new regulations that came into force in the new year. Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT) no longer broadcasts commercials for unregulated gaming providers, and although at the start of the year Discovery Networks Norway (DNN) has accepted more commercials for unregulated gaming providers than before, this has not compensated for the loss of NENT. This notwithstanding, unregulated gaming providers still account for 48 per cent of the TV pressure in the gaming category in 2021. Other regulated gaming companies account for 10 per cent of the TV pressure in 2021.
- The total for the gaming category was 40 per cent lower than in 2020.
- Norsk Tipping’s gross spend was 13 per cent lower in 2021 than in 2020.4
4) All soures of figures: AC Nielsen
Media sales figures from the analysis company Nielsen are often used to assess the total size of the advertising market. These figures are not directly comparable with the accounting figures, where one recognises the actual expenditure. Nevertheless, experience shows that the Nielsen figures provide a fair picture of the advertising value for traditional media channels such as TV, radio, and print media. The gross value of Norsk Tipping’s advertising spend last year was NOK 245 million. This was a reduction of 14 per cent compared with 2020.
Figures from Nielsen show that the overall advertising market for gaming dropped by 40 per cent in 2021, if one disregards digital marketing. This was driven by the fact that it is now only Discovery that broadcasts gaming commercials from unregulated gaming providers on TV. This means that gaming advertising accounted for 2.8 per cent of all non-digital advertising in Norway in 2021.
In 2021, Norsk Tipping launched a new sports betting platform designed to channel sports betting players to it more effectively.
Marketing of sports and casino games
In 2021, Norsk Tipping launched a new sports betting platform designed to channel sports betting players to it more effectively. Regulatory measures such prohibitions against money transfers and advertising have significantly boosted the company’s channelling power in this category.
In parallel with a significant decline in TV advertising for unregulated gaming providers, there has been an increase in activity on some social media, for example Instagram and Twitter.
In line with the marketing guidelines, Norsk Tipping does not promote casino games. The unregulated market is responsible for all of the casino games marketing in Norway.
The Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority conducted a comprehensive audit of Norsk Tipping’s marketing in March 2021. In its conclusion the authority writes : “The audit has shown that the social mission has been fully taken onboard when Norsk Tipping sets its market goals.” Adding, “Norsk Tipping has established checks designed to ensure compliance with the marketing guidelines.” The Norwegian Gambling and Foundation Authority concludes that Norsk Tipping is able to check and measure that the company’s marketing is restricted to what is strictly necessary.