Contrary to the promises on the Las Vegas Strip, winning customers in the gaming business isn’t easy money. The sector may be worth US$45bn, but north of 5,000 online casinos compete for the pound in the consumer’s pocket. So when Malta-based Mr Green took a flutter on British consumers, it wasn’t ready to rely on Lady Luck. How did it succeed?
By concentrating on what really matters at the gaming table: entertainment. Consumers are there for fun; it’s all about the experience. Katy Knight and the team at creative agency Scorch London made fun a safe bet for Mr Green’s customers – with a fresh advertising concept called The Wheel, centred on a striking CG animation that brought the brand to life across display campaigns and social media.
WHERE THEY WERE
Card games. Sports betting. The red and the black. For decades commercial betting was the domain of backrooms and basements, where green visors shaded fearful eyes and a “bust” meant more than losing your stake. But thanks to fresh players and fast broadband, market players like Mr Green can offer 350 activities under one roof – keeping players safe with a stack of checks and balances on their deposits and limits. Don’t call it gambling; call it gaming.
Mr Green is a household name across Scandinavia, where it’s among the best-loved online gaming rooms. Founded by a trio of Swedes – Fredrik Sidfalk, Henrik Bergquist and Mikael Pawlo – it’s been welcoming players since 2008, and was voted Best Mobile Casino at the 2016 Online Gaming Awards. Its plans for the UK included acquiring a UK Operator License in 2015. And when Jesper Kärrbrink became CEO in 2016, it was ready for a multi-market campaign boosting the mystique around the brand’s mascot: an enigmatic gentlemen called (no prizes for guessing) Mr Green.
WHAT THEY WANTED
Over twenty million people in the UK alone gamble, but many of these never get beyond the National Lottery – outside Mr Green’s target psychographic. And the audience Mr Green wanted for its 350 games of skill and chance was far larger, spanning multiple markets. They’re people with a yen for online gaming but want to combine the thrill of the darkened casino with the comfort of their sofa at home. Mr Green wanted to drive both awareness . . . and acquisition.
This audience spends most of its time (and money) online: it was no big stretch to adopt an online media strategy. But the web is a crowded media environment, with a number of big names upping the ante for smaller entrants. To stretch the budget, Scorch’s Account lead Katy Knight and Executive Creative Director Tristan Ramsay worked with Performance Marketing’s Maria Musella to build on the brand equity already built – not so much “Mr Green” as “Mr Green-ness”, the character’s enigmatic nature. Resulting in a new programme of activity.
“Throughout creative development we made sure the concept worked across different channels: cinemagraphs, looping video content, and digital banners.”
Garth Vickers, Creative Lead, Scorch London
WHAT WE DID
When you think of a casino, what shape comes to mind first? Circles. The edge of a coin, the flip of a chip, the rounded rim of a roulette table. It led naturally to Scorch’s name for its new campaign: The Wheel. At the core of the creative is a 20s animation, driving excitement around both table and slot games in a colourful splash of activity.
Heading up post-production was Scorch’s Dan Hankinson, with motion design by Dan DeSilva and Garth Vickers. “It was great to work on such a forward-thinking strategy”, explains Garth. “Throughout creative development we made sure the concept worked across different channels: cinemagraphs, looping video content, and digital banners.”
Circular visuals – a trombone’s key, an umbrella, a diamond – morph into objects from the gaming experience: a cylinder of slots, a shuffled deck of cards, a roulette wheel. All circles, executed in rich colours evocative of money. Drawing the audience into the offer: up to £100 and 200 bonus spins added to a newly-opened account.
The keynote creative was designed for double duty, splitting into several shorter cuts for different media placements. Other elements used the hypnotic effects of a cinemagraph: short animations designed to loop, with one active element turning a static scene into a rich piece of media. With the bonus such executions could easily be adapted for different formats and technologies.
This flexibility gave Mr Green numerous media options – which the company took advantage of. The creative’s been used on Mr Green’s own Facebook page, as banners across the Google Display Network, and as curtain-raisers on a range of other sites, increasing lead generation, sign ups and brand awareness.
Mr Green’s now embedded himself firmly in the online gaming scene across many nations – hanging his bowler hat in the minds of millions of slots and table games fans.
So if you’re ever in the Scorch office and see people playing Blackjack, don’t imagine they’re goofing off – at this creative London agency, it’s all part of living your client’s business. And if you’re green with envy at our winning creative, we’d like to talk. You can bet on us.
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