Singapore ad backfires thanks to Germany Cup run

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Singapore ad backfires thanks to Germany Cup run
An Argentine fan cries while watching the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 semi-final football match against Netherlands in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks and will face Germany in the FIFA World Cup final on July 13. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL (Photo credit should read Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)
An Argentine fan celebrates while watching the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 semi-final football match against Netherlands in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks and will face Germany in the FIFA World Cup final on July 13. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL (Photo credit should read Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 07: Argentine drummers from the band La Fantastica perform on Copacabana Beach on July 7, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil plays Germany tomorrow in the first semi-final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup while Argentina faces the Netherlands Wednesday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Germany's defender Benedikt Hoewedes answers questions during a press conference in Santo Andre on July 10, 2014, during the 2014 FIFA Football World Cup. Germany will face Argentina in the final of the tournament on July 13, at The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
A hat featuring the German national colours with three balls is on display at a Sports department store in Berlin on July 10, 2014, three days before the football World Cup 2014 final game between Germany and Argentina, to be played in Brazil. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Caps featuring the German national flag are on display at a Sports department store in Berlin on July 10, 2014, three days before the football World Cup 2014 final game between Germany and Argentina, to be played in Brazil. AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo credit should read JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentine fans celebrate in Buenos Aires on July 9, 2014, after beating the Netherlands in their FIFA World Cup semi-final football match. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks and will now face Germany in the World Cup final. The banner portrays Pope Francis and reads, 'We come from the end of the world... And we're going to the world cup finals!' AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentine fans celebrate in Buenos Aires on July 9, 2014, after beating the Netherlands in their FIFA World Cup semi-final football match. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks and will now face Germany in the World Cup final. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
An Argentine fan cries while watching the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 semi-final football match against Netherlands in Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks and will face Germany in the FIFA World Cup final on July 13. AFP PHOTO/Miguel SCHINCARIOL (Photo credit should read Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)
Picture of frontpages of Argentine newspapers taken on July 9, 2014 in Buenos Aires a day after Germany beat Brazil with a record 7-1 victory in their FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 semi final football match. AFP PHOTO / DANIEL GARCIA (Photo credit should read DANIEL GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JULY 07: Argentine drummers from the band La Fantastica perform on Copacabana Beach on July 7, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazil plays Germany tomorrow in the first semi-final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup while Argentina faces the Netherlands Wednesday. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Germany's forward Miroslav Klose answers questions during a press conference in Santo Andre on July 10, 2014, during the 2014 FIFA Football World Cup. Germany will face Argentina in the final of the tournament on July 13, at The Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Argentina soccer fans react with jubilation as they watch their team defeat the Netherlands, via a live broadcast the World Cup semifinal match on an outdoor screen in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina made it to the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate. (AP Photo/Ivan Fernandez)
A woman from Brazil and a man from Argentina dance samba at the World Cup Fan Fest 2014, on Copacabana beach, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. The flood of foreign football fans, the vast majority of them men, has been a boon for the single ladies of Brazil, where a demographic imbalance means women outnumber men by more than 4 million nationally. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Argentina fans celebrate after their team defeated the Netherlands during a World Cup semifinal soccer match at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina made it to the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
German national soccer player Benedikt Hoewedes attends a news conference in Santo Andre near Porto Seguro, Brazil, Thursday, July 10, 2014. Germany faces Argentina on upcoming Sunday in Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, in the final of the World Cup. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)
Argentina vs Netherlands in Brazil. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez Mills)
A fan of Argentina celebrates his team's victory over the Netherlands after the end of the semifinal match at the Itaquerao stadium during the 2014 soccer World Cup in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina made it to the World Cup final with a 4-2 shootout win over the Netherlands after the game finished in a 0-0 stalemate. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with goalkeeper Sergio Romero (1) after scoring on a penalty kick during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final against Germany. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's goalkeeper Sergio Romero saves a penalty kick by the Netherlands' Wesley Sneijder during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final against Germany. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina's Maxi Rodriguez celebrates after scoring the decisive penalty kick during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. Argentina beat the Netherlands 4-2 in a penalty shootout to reach the World Cup final against Germany. (AP Photo/Fabrizio Bensch, Pool)
Argentina supporters wearing masks of former players Diego Maradona, left, and Claudio Caniggia gesture to show the seven goals that Brazil conceded against Germany in Tuesday's semifinal, before the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo Brazil, Wednesday, July 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Bangladeshi women walk past a street painting of Argentina footballer Lionel Messi as 2014 FIFA World Cup art is painted by football fans on the walls of old Dhaka on July 10, 2014. The 2014 FIFA World Cup final between Argentina and Germany takes place on 13 July at Rio de Janeiro's legendary Maracana stadium. AFP PHOTO/MUNIR UZ ZAMAN (Photo credit should read MUNIR UZ ZAMAN/AFP/Getty Images)
RI Rio de Janeiro (RI) 09/07/2014 - Comerciantes da SAARA sofrem com a queda nas vendas de produtos da copa após a derrota da seleção brasileira para a Alemanha na semifinal da Copa do mundo. Portuguesa à esquerda compra camisa da Seleção Holandesa. Foto: Marcelo Piu / Agência O Globo
SANTO ANDRE, BRAZIL - JULY 10: Miroslav Klose (L) adn Benedikt Hoewedes (R) of Germany talk to the media during the German national team press conference at Campo Bahia on July 10, 2014 in Santo Andre, Brazil. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)
COMMERZBANK-ARENA, FRANKFURT, HESSE, GERMANY - 2014/07/09: German fans celebrate their victory of Brazil. 21.000 fans celebrated the win of Germany over Brazil by 7 goals to 1 in the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup Semi Final in Frankfurt's Commerzbank-Arena. (Photo by Michael Debets/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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SINGAPORE (AP) - An ad campaign warning of the perils of gambling that began as just another bland public service announcement by Singapore's government has turned into fodder for international mockery, and left authorities scrambling after Germany's World Cup victory.

In the TV version of the ad, which debuted last month when the World Cup kicked off, a sullen young boy named Andy tells his friends in the playground that his father had used all of Andy's savings to bet on Germany to win the tournament.

Sad piano music is cued and a message is displayed: "Often, the people who suffer from problem gambling aren't the gamblers."

The PSA wasn't lampooned until Germany won its first match against Portugal, 4-0. As the World Cup progressed and the Germans looked more and more like favorites to win the title, the mocking of the ad intensified, with many wondering if little Andy and his dad were going to make a killing on the bet.

After Germany's stunning 7-1 semifinal drubbing of Brazil, the ad prompted ridiculing on "The Tonight Show."

"Cheer up, kid, your dad bet on Germany," host Jimmy Fallon said. "He's so rich you don't even need to go to college anymore."

Even Singapore's usually stoic politicians could not resist taking a few pot shots. Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin wrote on Facebook: "Looks like the boy's father who bet all his savings on Germany will be laughing all the way to the bank!"

But Singapore's National Council for Problem Gambling refused to back down and withdraw the campaign, which also included radio spots, posters around the country and banners on the council's website. In a statement, it said selecting Germany "injected a sense of realism in our messaging, since no one will bet on a potentially losing team."

On Monday, following Germany's 1-0 win over Argentina in the final, Facebook pages were full of congratulatory messages for Andy and his dad. A few suggested the two were off to Germany for a holiday, while another showed Andy wearing a suit, accompanied by the caption, "Who's your daddy?"

The council, meanwhile, rushed to post a new ad on its website. It features Andy's friend asking him: "Your dad's team won. Did you get your savings back?"

Andy replies: "No, Dad never stops ... he wants to bet one more time."

Singapore has a strong gambling culture, even though it only opened its casinos in recent years. Government-run sports betting and the lottery are hugely popular in the tightly controlled Southeast Asian city-state of 5.4 million people.

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