*** UPDATE: Click here to read Part 2 and Part 3 of the 2012 XMAS Promothon
Your boss: “Guys, you have done a hell of a job this year. As the Marketing Director, I’m inviting the entire CRM team for an all-inclusive weekend in Ibiza, just before you leave for the annual holidays vacation. The company will take care of everything, so all you need to pack are condoms! Oh, and Thomas, last time we all went out partying the poor waitress didn’t really understood what kind of SPECIAL COFFEE you were trying to order, so you might want to bring it with you this time.”
You: “Sorry boss, next week the Christmas Promothon is due to go live and we really want to ensure our casino promo is in top shape. So we’ll have to take a rain check on that this time.”
Guess who’s back, back again? That’s right, your buddy, Da Christmas Promothon. The El Supremo of all CRMers, and the one time through the year when that cute blonde from the Affiliates Team might even pay attention to what you do. Not everything you do, of course — unlike you, such fine-looking people have a life to lead and such. But you might hear a polite comment along the lines of “what a stupid promo those weirdoes from CRM are creating for Christmas.” Ahh, you’ll have to cherish such lovely moments.
And this time we have a twist – we are going to also compare last year’s promos with the ones the same operators have launched this December. Ranking will be based on the following parameters:
- Fun: Design, theme, and how easy is it for a player to opt in (20 possible points).
- Rewards: Offering and prize generosity levels (30 possible points).
- Creativity: Is it different from last year’s promo? And here is the twist – same s**t, different year? 10 points will be deducted from your 2011 score, you lazy bastards. However, a new factor can give you an automatic 10 points. And that is if it’s truly innovative and not just another advent calendar, extra bonus points can be added to the overall result. (Unlike your yearly bonus, surpassing a total score of 100 is a possibility.)
- General: Various parameters such as coolness and the potential to increase the operator revenues will be taken into consideration here (40 possible points).
Why should you care so much about our scientifically tested ranking system? Some say that much like the Swiss army or the plot in a porn movie, the points simply don’t matter. But hey, it’s nothing but your own prestige and industry positioning on the line, so be our guest and pretend you “don’t even care about it.” Your mommy gave you a lot of compliments when you were younger, right? Well, she lied.
Right – enough fooling around. We are in a kind of a hurry, as Santa is coming to town, so let’s get cracking:
- Fun: Actually, they have managed to create a design that is both cool but branded, one that fits the holiday spirit and contains gaming elements. Nearly maximum score of 18 points, as there is absolutely no need to opt in at all – all players are entered automatically.Two points were deducted because having a roulette wheel positioned as the dealer at a blackjack (BJ) table is just wrong. Nevertheless, WELL DONE.
- Rewards: First promo (top picture) is a 13 days recurring-daily bonus for yesterday’s wagering activity, with a minimum requirement of 40 points (€5 auto bonus prize), and a maximum reward of €30 for earning 600 points within a single day. Cute. Second promo is a 9-day leaderboard for all roulette and blackjack variations, with a daily prize pool of €1,525 divided according to a pre-defined payout table (100 players; 42% goes to top 10 players). This tournament is somewhat less attractive, and placing roulette and BJ players at the same leaderboard is not recommended. Standard wagering requirements apply (deposit x1 + bonus x30). Still, considering the very conservative restrictions imposed on their CRM team, it’s a nice one, so here are 22 points.
- Creativity: Definitely NOT what they had last year, so they secure another 10 points. Do they deserve more? They definitely haven’t used a traditional advent, that’s for sure.
- General: Very good promo – daily renewing offering that targets both the small timers and the challenge seekers, no need to opt in, surprising design, and all in all – with their huge database, they will surely make up for the cost. Cool. 30 points.
- OVERALL: It really is a good and creative promo. As it is, there is no need for any extra points as considering their magnitude, they could have spread some more lovin’ instead of just €14K across a 9 day tournament. By the end of the day, 80 points reflects an accurate ranking for this campaign, and is a strong improvement over last year’s 70 points score. An excellent wakeup call that should get the attention of those responsible for their regular traditional and less exciting approach.
- Fun: Definitely appealing theme, design and concept and all you need to do is just log in to opt in (assuming it’s not your first-ever deposit). Perfect score of 20 points.
- Rewards: Err … so the (amazingly beautiful) concept here is a game that pops up daily after you log into the gaming lobby. “In this game, you’ve got 20 seconds to steer your shopping trolley in the right direction and grab as many gifts as you can.” Prizes can reach 70% bonus on your next deposit (up to €100), which will be credited within 48 hours. Wagering requirements are x30 your bonus. Although being definitely unique, the promo is not as generous as a gaming-only related reward. Also they are running it for a relatively short period of time (Dec. 17-25), so 20 points.
- Creativity: Again, much like the Hooters team, we are proud to support our troops, and CRM people who do not recycle promos definitely fit this description. At least 10 points.
- General: WOW. Give us such an effort and design every day, and we will be sure to find stupid comments anyway, yet enjoy it very much. The counter argument against a depositing-based bonus is, of course, the low profitability – 33 points.
- OVERALL: Everyone should learn from 888’s solution for the need of a daily attraction. We take their 81 points, and add an extra fiver for making us feel slightly better about this entire Promothon project. 88 points, as this is how a promo should be crafted – a joyful take on something ordinary we have all seen before. What an improvement from last year’s 38 (!) points and worst-ranking campaign of the season.
- Fun: Their leading offers look nice, yet all others are plain pages with micro images. No idea what happened there, as usually it’s their greatest strength. At least there is no opt-in requirement, so 15 points.
- Rewards: The advent calendar is nothing but daily free spins on various games after competing 50 or 100 spins on your own expense. Indeed, it says NEXT right all over it. On the other hand, the comps race (Dec. 17 -31) offers a huge prize poll of €162K distributed to 1,000 (!) players. RESPECT. Others are okay yet boring: double comps for 3 days through the month, each time for a different game; 32 shopping vouchers in a total amount of €3,000 as raffle prizes for several days (minimal wager in order to participate is €100); and finally, 24 daily raffles of ten €100 cash bonuses (minimum daily deposit of €30 to participate). Meh? Well there is the race, there are several options to win, and the amounts are quite large. True, they are mostly raffles, free spins or comps, which mean that they are based on higher-than-average VIP play and they want to carefully pick their winners. A solid 20 points.
- Creativity: The automatic 10 points, yet nothing more.
- General: The comps race is very good. Rest is mediocre at best, or 25 points.
- OVERALL: Last Christmas they scored 65, and this time 70 points. That’s German education for you –
- OVERALL: Same advent concept and design as last year, so from their previous no-so-bright ranking of 60 points last year, we now deduct 10 and award them with a shameful 50 points score. Still, shouldn’t we support CRMers who offer a beer supply for a year and brand new iPhone 5? Not if their budget allows them to compete at least with likes of bwin and 888. In fact, this was our first reaction when we saw the same lame promo again on their website –
- Fun: Well, there is an attractive lady… but it’s quite a simple design, and the added cards and gifts are not that brilliant. 10 points.
- Rewards: No idea, as it changes daily, and there is no direct access to past/future events. Some are free prizes. We can only assume that some are probably not :) Wagering requirements are standard (their own, play money only, deposit + bonus x20 standard [x30 for UK players]). Honestly, 10 points seems generous.
- Creativity: Not exactly the same as last year, so considering the holiday spirit and all, 10 points. Barely.
- General: They always tend to match their offering to their players, so it seems like it’s working for them.25 points.
- OVERALL: From 78 points and simple yet successful promo, they went down to 55 points, yet improved their design. It’s like an elevator that doesn’t go up.
- Fun: A single image, with a mix of the possible prizes. 10 points. The nice girl who appears on the home page doesn’t really have anything to do with promo, as she is a student in an exchange program they have signed with the leading college in Moldova. In exchange for her, they gave up on their moral values.
- Rewards: It’s a wagering race, with 500 prizes for the regular players, ranging from a $4K vacation to Disneyland Paris, through some electronics, nearly 30 redeemable cash prizes ($125-$200) and the rest are non-redeemable bonuses ($5-$100). For VIPs, the 4th prize on their table is in fact the same as the common crowd first prize and from here it only gets better, with an $8K vacation to the Bahamas on the 2nd place, and a $20K car for the grand winner. Rest is kind of the same, with 300 prizes and only 6 redeemable cash rewards. All players can also eligible for a 20% bonus on every deposit, 5 times a week for the entire month (4 weeks). Regular players maximum bonus is $250 per deposit ($5,000 overall) and VIPs can double that. You must deposit at least $50 through the promo period ($100 VIPs) to opt in, and for the top 10 prizes the requirement is set at $300 ($500 VIPs). Another restriction is accumulating a total of 200 points (1,000 VIPs) though the promo period, or 2,000 points for the top 10 prizes (10K for VIPs). Are we done yet? HA! Regular players “must play for a minimum of 5 days during the promotional period to be eligible”, or 10 days for VIPs. Phew. Ready for more? Well, there are tons of T&C, including a wagering requirement of x40 (cash/bonus only). Could even been higher, as they are indeed generous, yet everything just blends in with this list, so “only” 25 points.
- Creativity: Similar, yet not the same. It is nearly identical, but the design is different, and there are by far better perks. 10 points. Yay.
- General: Not too many bad parts: As a leaderboard it’s too long (nearly a month!), non-redeemable bonuses are just not sexy (yet profitable like a thong factory in Brazil) and they kind of downgraded the major prize from last year’s. With all of that we could have lived quite nicely, yet the main issue is that now they operate 4 different brands, and they all participate in the same leaderboards!! Sorry, but 20 points is as far as we can stretch it.
- OVERALL: A slight uplift from 58 points in 2011 to 65 points right here, right now.
Taking advise only from the likes of Peter Jackson, we have turned this Promothon into a trilogy, with the follow-up posts to be released within days. Same as the last time we ran this thing, Part 2 will include reviews of Party Casino, PAF, Bet365, Intertops, Everest and the Halloween Promothon winner – AllSlots. Part 3 will focus at other brands that haven’t had the pleasure of being assessed by the Hybrid Interaction online casino retention experts. Yes, you envy them, but if indeed you have a promo you would like us to review – there is still time! Contact us with the details and a VIP seat in heaven will be reserved for you, right next to 72 virgins.
PS: Meet us during the London events – iCE (Feb. 4-6) and LAC (Feb. 7-10) 2013. Man up!
*** UPDATE: Click here to read Part 2 and Part 3 of the 2012 XMAS Promothon