** Rolling update: read about our twitter chat with 888 Casino!
Happy New Year! Oh, wait… I’ve lost track of time and other elements of reality. That’s what happens when you spend several days in Vegas – you look around and see people with their clothes on and you’re sure you’re hallucinating.
What else can be said about the G2E? Not a lot, due to the strict “What happens in Vegas …” rule, but if you missed it this time, don’t worry. I am sure you had plenty of other, better things to do besides attend the largest gambling conference on earth.
Speaking of delusional people, I have found this great article that offers a few alternatives in dealing with the Thomas-like managers in your company. Is it relevant for you? Only if you can relate to this paragraph: “Let’s pretend, hypothetically, that you report to a manager who falls short of ideal. Perhaps he (or she) undermines your efforts, micromanages, only notices what’s wrong, doesn’t walk the talk, vanishes into thin air, takes credit for your work, has vague expectations, doesn’t communicate, criticizes you in public, and expects you to do the work of a small nation.” Yeah, I kind of guessed this would interest you.
Getting back to Halloween, this holiday – like so many others – is a good excuse for creating a promotion. So in this post, we’ll see how various online casino operators are doing so and we’ll “objectively” pick a winner. Why using this sarcastic tone? Because this time we are being shamelessly paid! Just kidding… we still hopelessly try to find a rigged enough operator to bribe us, but no one took our open offer in such a highly moral industry. We still hope you’ll get some insights into best practices for promotions, Halloween-themed and otherwise. This is how much we love you.
How are we going to rank these beautifully and oh-so-creatively crafted campaigns?
Trick: How do players qualify? (15 possible points)
Treat: What are the promised rewards? Is the offering attractive enough? (25 possible points)
Fear Factor: How creative was the design? Is it scarier than watching a Kardashian’s episode? (25 possible points)
Pumpkin Meter: The bottom line. Will the brand earn more money from this event than it would without it? Overall, is this is the promo we would like to get jiggy wit it? (35 possible points)
Reasons why this is an excellent ranking system:
- Because I said so. Think it’s wrong? We couldn’t possibly care less
- While being attractive is important (25 points), the most critical parameter is, of course, your brand’s profitability (35 points).
- That said, it’s Halloween – slutty customs, spooky pranks and a feeling that for one night each year, you can be appreciated for your “unique” appearance. Your mailers have to look their best to draw attention (25 points).
Trick: Nothing really. There is a very (VERY) basic game in which you pick a zombie, but that has nothing to do with qualifying for the promo. The promo lasts from October 25 to 31. Score on this section: 10 points.
Treat: Each day there is a new way of earning rewards, including chat-based bonuses, happy hours, cashback on selected games, raffles, leaderboards and even a 75% deposit bonus (up to 200). They’ve used most of the known CRM tools, with minimum deposits of 20. With such a versatile offering, giving them even 1 point below the highest possible score of 25 will simply be pure cruelty. This is why we rank them at 24 points.
Fear Factor: Well, there was some advanced planning, but the promotion is more cute than scary or sexy. Still, it’s nicely displayed. 15 points.
Pumpkin Meter: All in all, it’s a fantastic promo, with many versatile options for participating and lasting 7 full days. Wagering requirements are set correctly (although perhaps a bit too strict, considering their bonuses are tied to distinct platforms). Nearly all of the rewards are not pre-determined, but are subject to participation levels. That’s good in that you can keep the costs down, but bad in the sense that players have no idea what to expect if they win. Without clearly defined awards, there’s less incentive to play. 20 points.
Generally speaking, this is a good example of a “Themed Holiday Promo 101”, falling short only in a few minor details. Total: 78 points, and that’s even without using any nude models. Blasphemy.
Trick: Weekly leaderboard (two updates every hour) through 8 weeks of October and November, rewarding the top 200 most active slots players. Simple and sensible. 15 points.
Treat: Weekly pot of $10,000, with individual prizes ranging from $10 to the bottom 75 places, through $100 or more to the top 20, and $1,000 to the overall winner. Not the most generous amounts, but these costs come straight from the budget, no matter the activity level generated by the promo. 18 points.
Fear Factor: Fantastic! They have managed to create just the right mysterious atmosphere, using a nicely proportioned amount of dark colors (totally different from their usual palette). The background is framed by a moon and some twinkling stars, along with a beautiful fog. They have blood, candles, ancient buildings, scary statues, gold, a vampire and a hot witch. Perfect score of 25 points.
Pumpkin Meter: It definitely seems like the campaign is going to at least repay itself through the extra generated engagement. We don’t have data to back this up, but the overall structure makes sense, and as noted earlier, the prizes are indeed cautious. 30 points.
All in all, an amazing design, backed up by a long and smart event with realistic rewarding and intelligent prize distribution. 88 points. And here is an extra gag for you: go look at the landing page the statues are sticking out their tongues!
Trick: After making a deposit, a player has to proactively use bonus codes through the 8 days of the promo. All participants automatically qualify for a wagering leaderboard, with daily updates. Yes, they have just gone from sending notifications via postal pigeons to daily updates on the Internet. 8 points.
Treat: 3 options, open to all players –a) deposit 20 or more, bet 1,000, and earn 30 free; b) 100% deposit bonus up to 100; c 25% cash back. Terms are explained and demonstrated very clearly, along with the specific list of qualifying slot machines for each promotional alternative. All participants will also enter a 1,500 wagering race, with the top 20 winners earning prizes from 25 to 350. 13 points, due to the very tight budget and the restricting wagering requirements associated with some of the prizes.
Fear Factor: Almost … They do have everything, with a cemetery, bats, ghosts, zombies, evil sorcerer and an appealing witch (zip up – it’s a drawn caricature), black cat, Dracula, spiders, bloody pumpkins. Phew – too much? The background is probably not dark enough, and the overall feeling is too cartoony. 15 points.
Pumpkin Meter: Well, there is always the chance that their players will find this all very attractive, but with the fierce competition these guys have in their core markets, it’s understandable why the participation levels haven’t skyrocketed. Following the OCT 26 update, the top 30 players have wagered a total of 25,140… an average BET of 838 per player for the period, or 280 per day (event started on OCT 24). Now that’s a Net Revenue of ~10 per day per player, and we are talking about the more active portion of the database, yes? That said, not being able to pay back these funny prizes can really be one hell of a prank, so I guess an even 25 points would do.
Good attempt, but with such low resources and not a very good wrapping, the appeal is just average. 61 points, as on top of everything else, you probably noticed that the extraterrestrial object planet in the night sky is NOT the moon. (If you simply nod in agreement you are sooooo geek).
Trick: With so many options, it’s really kind of confusing. On top of the holiday events (yes, plural), they have just launched their “Nightmare on Elm Street” slots machine, so through the month of October players can enter many options by either playing the basic phases on the game’s landing page, answer weekly trivia questions or enter the lobby for some mystery offerings. VIPs also have a month-long raffle (entry is done by participating in any other promo through October), as well as a 6-day deposit & play raffle, for which they ask their most active players to stop play and send them an email to participate. … A somewhat overwhelming set of choices. 10 points.
Treat: Not much, to be honest. For the new players, they market the regular 100% bonus. Existing players get some free-play coupons for the new game and unknown bonuses for harassing the support REPs in the lobby. Those players who copy-and-paste the right answers from Google have a chance of winning an “ultimate Nightmare on Elm Street collector’s box.” Here is a more appropriate gift in a box. What about the VIPs? Man, oh man – the winner of the monthly raffle can earn a whopping 666!! How cool is that? Not at all – that’s how cool. The other VIP raffle offers players a chance to deposit at least 333 and earn a raffle ticket for every 33 they bet. Five random players win the same 666 plus an iPhone 5. Very disappointing by comparison to the brand’s strength. 10 points.
Fear Factor: Slap my ass and call me Sally. It’s the best-of-breed theme with fine details in every pixel. At least 25 points, and it could have been even higher yet their superior designs forced to us to use SIX screen shots instead of just one – so they were decapitated. Hilarious.
Pumpkin Meter: Can they pay back the HUGE costs of this promo? Probably within 10 minutes. Any given 10 minutes. As it seems, images copyrights cost them way more than what they give back to their players, so they are at risk of not earning any additional traction due to this specific promotional activity. Yes, throughout the month they have had a lot of action, and the new game is the bomb, but can these meaningless promos be counted on their own? 15 points says the answer is negative.
It looks good – absolutely amazingly very, very good. But with only 60 points, they must understand that people don’t judge a book by its cover.
Trick: Promo runs for 3 weeks, with 2 weekly raffles plus a play-based leaderboard (all games apply), and the minimum deposit is only $25. Excellent, with 15 points.
Treat: On Mondays, 150 players win prizes between $20 and $250, and on Thursdays, 50 players win prizes between $20 and $150 (all based on their activity during the previous days). The leaderboard has a cool concept of a 6-tier mini-loyalty-program, with activity-based-segmentation of the players according to their wagering volume during the promo. Three players from each level will randomly win prizes ranging from $100 to $1,000. 20 points, as the overall pot is only $50,000.
Fear Factor: Well it is cartoony, that’s for sure, so it can’t be too scary. But it does have some nice elements and the overall atmosphere is good. 15 points.
Pumpkin Meter: Cool, and probably tailor-made to the brand’s capabilities in terms of ROI. There is nothing either especially good or especially bad about this promo, so it’s just an ordinary good. 20 points.
They have made no mistake a, and yet they haven’t really put in a notable effort. A total of 70 points certainly reflects that. No idea how much they will gain, but it doesn’t seem to have caused much pain to create.
Trick: 10 daily leaderboards for 3 slots machines with the relevant theme (cool names like “Intensive Scare”, etc.). You collect points by playing, and … that’s it. Simple and a straightforward 15 points.
Treat: Daily pots of EUR 4,775, to be won by 300 players with prizes ranging from 5 to 10 EUR for the lower 200 spots and EUR 150 for the 4 players just below the EUR 300 big winner. Huge brand, small budget – adds up to be worth 20 points.
Fear Factor: Due to their tight branding restrictions, they can’t do too much anyway, and even this design was probably a nightmare (HA-HA!) to get approved. Milla Jovovich adds her charm everywhere she goes, so with a “Resident Evil” slot on that wall, along with that cool pumpkin, they can’t possibly get fewer than 18 points.
Pumpkin Meter: To the point. It’s just what they need, because most of their casino players migrated from sports, so there is no place for the heavy VIP approach and mega-prizes. Yes, they will get these EUR 50K back with no problems and move on. Everybody will be happy and hug one another. 25 easy points.
Such an Austrian style for this promotion – Halloween is the perfect chance to get a little crazy and publish such a whacky event … with everything so neat and tidy and without a single mistake, of course. That’s what they do, and they do it well enough to score an overall of 78 points.Think about it – for them, this is madness.
Among the non-core-casino space, we saw NeoSpace with its Hitchcock and Monsters Collections and ScratchGames have launched a new themed game (Treasure Fright) in addition so some holiday specials. They are all very cartoony, which is quite the standard in this genre, yet we are not going to review it this time, as we have some kind of what other people may call – if they are drunk enough – life.
That’s it. We saw some very nice looking campaigns, with some of them even offering some sensible promotional offerings. Other than that? Nothing major. We better start getting back home now.
** Rolling update: read about our twitter chat with 888 Casino!