Just because your ads include pictures of casino “things” — chips, cards, cash and young blonde women jumping up and down at a slot machine — doesn’t mean you are “branding” your casino. In fact, a brand is defined as: “what people think of you in comparison to your competitors” — and if your ads look no different than the casino down the road, then you are NOT branding anything. You are making casino ads with your little logo in the bottom right corner. But that’s not branding. Branding, by definition, requires the creation of difference.
Look at your casino’s advertising. Different or the same? And I’m not taking about the color of the type or whether your logo is in the bottom right corner. Those are easy. Beyond that, the next step, and the part that will make a difference is this. 1.) Create only ads that SAY SOMETHING SPECIAL AND UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR CASINO, something that’s very specifically different from what other casinos say about themselves. That’s a start. The next step, then, is: 2.) Find a way to talk about your special difference in a way that up-sells what’s special about you. Better. Now, here’s the Master’s level class: 3.) Craft a message that sells what’s special in a way that actually matters to your audience. Emotional connections matter. Make advertising that engages your audience, asks them to care about the choice of which casino to visit. Do that and success will follow.
This is hard to do. Especially difficult for Indian casinos where politics are thick and jobs are difficult to hold on to. Your casino managers are human beings, and for human beings it’s always more difficult to break from the herd than to follow along. There is great comfort and safety in doing what others do. It’s human nature. But it’s also the most fundamentally primary reason that most advertising in the world (casinos and all others) is visual garbage and a complete waste of money.
So if you want your advertising to be more than visual garbage and a complete waste of money, follow this rule: The primary job of any ad is two-fold, which are: 1.) Draw attention to the message (get eyeballs and ears to pay attention to the ad), and 2.) show difference between our product and the others in a way that’s compelling (make the audience care about — even love — you). That’s the job, period.
Again, look at your ads. Do they call out difference and sell your special uniqueness, or do they sell sameness? Is there anything in your ads that would make someone care, or do the ads serve as a tool for the casino to brag about itself? Avoid bragging about yourself. Find a way to connect with your guests thru your messaging. Find a way to make them feel special. Your ads need to work for your casino like small-talk works for a single guy chatting up a girl at a club. No successful single guy walks up to a girl at a club and starts talking about himself and pointing at his cool clothes and expensive shoes. And if he looks like every other douche-bag in the club, then he’s striking out. That guy’s a loser and will grow old as a very, very single and lonely bachelor. Better to look/dress uniquely — but in a way that’s not weird or threatening but original and interesting — and rather than talk about yourself, instead act friendly and helpful and ask the girl questions about herself. And when possible, create connections: “Hey, that’s my favorite song, too. Let’s go dance to it…?” Your casino ads need to make the same sort of play.
The non-nightclub/dance floor version of this advice is this. Good branding showcases how your product is different and better than your competitors. Great branding does the same but finds a way to also emotionally connect with its audience. Create difference, up-sell value, and make an emotional connection. These are the keys to branding success.
This entry was posted on Sunday, September 5th, 2010 at 10:20 pm and is filed under advertising, marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.