Casino Marketers: 10 Tips to a Killer Billboard Campaign

Know the strengths of billboard advertising — as well as how those strengths fit your casino's brand strategy and media plan — and you’ll hit the jackpot. Here are 10 killer tips for how you can use billboards to gain a competetive advantage in your market.

1. Objective: Awareness.

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Billboard advertising is a mass medium, like TV. So reach out and talk to everybody who might be interested, not just your guests. Oh, and this is no place for direct response because, well, you just won’t get a response. 99.9% of those people driving by will not remember — much less call — that number. So keep it simple.

2. Get Noticed.

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You have six seconds or less. Six words or less. So give that visual and those words synergy and memorability. Brand voice, colors and typeface should stay consistent for a quicker “get.” And avoid repetition. If your casino promotion tells the story, no need to say it again in the headline. Consider this: You should be able to shrink your billboard down to business card size, hold it at arms length, and get the main idea.

3. Know the Market.

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If your billboard is in Silicon Valley, you’re speaking to a different group of people than if your billboard is in, say, the Bible belt. Fair warning: There are lots of eyes on your board. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get phone calls if you push the boundaries. Proceed with caution.

4. Consider the Competition.

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Make sure you know what your competition is doing. Zig where they zag. If you don’t want to put money in your competitors’ pockets, don’t put a generic casino ad out there. You don’t want to sell casinos; you want to sell your casino.

If you spot an opportunity to go head to head and win, be sure to weigh the costs and benefits carefully. If your message isn’t a super simple demonstration of superiority, that reader drives away confused. Or — worse yet —they remember your competitor. Times when it may be smart to go head to head? When your concert or show is top notch, and your brand is easy to identify. Or, if those players have to pass the competitor to get to you, you might want to remind them why that car ride is worth the drive.

5. Get in Early.

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Once you know your strategy, your market and your competition, snatch up that perfect location. Quick, before somebody buys it out from under you. And buy that location for as long as you’re going to want it. You can always change out the message, but you might not be able to get that board back. Besides, you’ll save ka-ching the earlier you are, and the longer your buy.

6. Use Digital to its Advantage.

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Digital boards are great for real time opportunities. Is your progressive jackpot ready to blow? Are you counting down to the grand prize? You can change digital billboards instantly, without all that production cost. You can trigger by weather, suggesting, for example, guests avoid that rainy camping trip and head to your casino instead. And you can run different offers and test the response rates, too.

7. Put Some Spin on It.

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Humans are much better at remembering concepts, humor and stories than they are facts. Go beyond the meat and potatoes and get your reader into your casino’s emotional mindset. Consider context — the space surrounding that board is your canvas, too. A board located knee-deep in snow might stir some ideas promoting a warm weather vacation prize. And don’t worry if you don’t have a big budget to do an expensive extension — a solid idea that memorably brands your property trumps budget any day of the week.

8. Make Directional Boards a Brand Opportunity.

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Sure, a directional billboard can be a simple signpost, directing guests to your property. But you’re missing a brand opportunity if you don’t shout your casino’s personality at every turn. Use warmth, humor, style, whatever it takes to have that audience emotionally identify with you. That kinship they feel translates to loyalty. And that translates to guest visits!

9. Easy Does It.

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Before you execute your billboard ads, take another look. Is there anything you can take out? Ax it. Be ruthless. Keep stripping words and visuals until you’re down to the bare bones of the communication. It’s tempting to add information, but remember: this is about a brand impression. You can use other mediums to share all the pertinent facts.

10. Think Beyond the Billboard.

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A billboard is just the tip of out-of-home possibilities. If you draw from a larger metro area, transit stops, buses, cabs — they’re all great ways to share your brand’s point of view. Airport kiosks are smart places to speak with traveling gamers, and shopping malls offer you an environment full of consumers enjoying leisure time.

Want a killer billboard campaign? Red Circle would love to dig into your brand and help you create smart, memorable, revenue generating out-of-home. Contact us for more information.