Bingo Ball Bellies get the Thumbs up

Now that Gaz knew that Sharon had slept with his brother, it was time to confess he was sleeping with their son's Grandfather
Now that Gaz knew that Sharon had slept with his brother, it was time to confess he was sleeping with their son's Grandfather

Those of you familiar with UK television will be aware of the marketing associations between Bingo and daytime TV. Bingo is one of the sectors that has really understood the type of players it has when it comes to television advertising. Look at the tie-ins between Foxy Bingo then Think Bingo and the Jeremy Kyle Show, Emmerdale and Tombola and Crown Bingo and the ITV 3 whole daytime TV schedule… all utterly relevant and appropriate partnerships for the demography of their players.

My good friend Sarah Jones from GameOn Marketing, who promises she was just ‘flicking through’ the channels, saw the Think Bingo sponsor advert of the Jeremy Kyle show – a woman waddling along holding her belly in pregnancy, except her belly is a bingo ball and the voice-over states “Whatever life throws at you…” AKA ‘I can’t believe I’m up the duff with my [insert inappropriate relative here]’s baby’.

The Think Bingo sponsor advert on the Jeremy Kyle Show

Whether or not the audience will get the subtle piss-take that Sarah and I found amusing is a another matter, but they will certainly understand that many of the show’s guests definitely experience a “whatever life throws at you” pregnancy – so the image will resonate with them, and is likely to generate some feelings of brand affinity.

After chatting to Sarah about the creativity in the message and thinking about this more, I began to yearn for us to be in an industry that doesn’t generate gross margins quite as easily as it does. If we all worked in the airline industry, for example, with woefully small profit margins compared to iGaming, I don’t think I would witness quite so much complacency in basic marketing practice. Whilst the advertising agency that created the Think Bingo advert got it spot on, relevant and appropriate message targeting is often at best scattergun and at worst completely absent.

It’s a simple marketing exercise. Marketing 101. So why is it that I still receive in my inbox, dozens of gaming emails that have not targeted the message appropriately for the segment I am in.

Think about this short list of segments that could be emailed:
– Registered players but not deposited
– Registered and made one deposit
– Registered, made various deposits, but not for at least 3 months (i.e. inactive)

Each of the above segments requires a different marketing message to entice them to make their first or next deposit. These segments are broad and not complicated so the message is simple. Yet too many companies are failing to do this. A player who is not targeted correctly, relevantly and appropriately will likely deposit with your competitor over you in a heartbeat. It’s a no brainer for the player as they will feel as if the competitor ‘speaks’ to them.

The odd thing is, such segmentation does not require sophisticated CRM systems nor does it require the creativity displayed in the Think Bingo ad, for example, just a spreadsheet with the broad segments and a simple change of a few choice sentences in the email is a good start.

Of course, there are companies that segment splendidly. Unfortunately, few are in the gaming industry. I’m thinking of the likes of, though they often overdo it – just because I looked at food blenders one day, because I was flirting with the idea of having a home smoothie station, does not mean I want to be harangued in weekly emails until I give in and buy one!

p.s. For those not familiar with Jeremy Kyle – he is unfortunately the UK’s answer to Jerry Springer. Luckily, for those of you Stateside, he’ll be on your screens from 2011.