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Preston Spire Presents Dark and Dramatic TV Spot to Reveal Sobering Realities of Gambling Addiction

Agency News | July 7, 2023 | 3 min read

Minneapolis ad agency Preston Spire’s “Just as Real” spot connects the serious issue of gambling addiction to more well-known vices for the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling nonprofit organization

MINNEAPOLIS As hundreds of millions of dollars are put toward gambling-related TV advertising — framing gambling as an exciting way to win money fast — Minneapolis advertising agency Preston Spire is countering that narrative with a new TV PSA that presents a raw and very real look at the issue of gambling addiction. The spot, “Just as Real,” was produced for Preston Spire’s client, the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling (MNAPG), a gambling-neutral organization.

In addition to supporting MNAPG, Preston Spire was recently honored for other nonprofit work including a Bronze Effie for its work with Second Harvest Heartland and a Radio Mercury Award for the YMCA of the North. The agency guided by its defining belief and mantra that “Good Wins”: to produce meaningful and inviting creative experiences for consumers.

Preston Spire’s creative team says the message in “Just as Real” was meant to present a realistic vision that counters the look, feel and fun of sports betting ads. The video shows a man opening a pack of cards as if it were a beer, smoking the deck like a pack of cigarettes and using the deck to cut cocaine in order to indelibly connect gambling addiction to these more well-known vices.

“Our focus was to produce a visual that pulls back the curtain on what a gambling addiction really is and what it looks like,” says Brett Essman, Creative Director for Preston Spire. “Most importantly, we wanted our metaphor to resonate emotionally and be remembered by the people who need help.”

“It’s a fact that problem gambling is a real addiction, just as serious as an alcohol or drug addiction,” says Susan Sheridan Tucker, Executive Director of MNAPG. “This new TV spot shines a powerful light that helps people see the connection between gambling and other addictions. The effects of problem gambling are underestimated, and our hope is this message helps people find the help they need.”

Sheridan Tucker emphasizes that gambling addiction treatment is free in Minnesota and those seeking can find more help by calling the Minnesota Helpline at 1-800-333-4673. For more information about MNAPG and tools for increasing awareness of problem gambling, visit

About Preston Spire
Preston Spire makes brands positively matter by creating experiences so meaningful they are welcome in people’s lives. They build businesses by finding a brand’s authentic purpose and emotionally engaging consumers with work driven by the belief that Good Wins. They have seamless collaboration across our multiple in-house disciplines: account planning/research; advertising; brand strategy; media; design; direct; digital; public relations; and social marketing. Preston Spire has consistently been among the U.S. top agencies in the Effie Effectiveness Index.

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