Counter-Intuitive Casino

June 3, 2010 |  by admin  |  Advertising  |  ,

Everyone visiting a casino hopes to win big, right?  So, if you're a regional casino and not a big player like Las Vegas, how do you differentiate your brand in a sea of gaming ads?  Maybe you instruct people on the art of "not winning".  And in telling them how "not to win", you manage to highlight all the other great things that make the experience of your casino a little bit different.

The Pala Casino Spa & Resort in California did just that.  Check out for a look at this counter-intuitive campaign, complete with a free instructional DVD and lots of great online content.

Whether they've managed to diferentiate the experience of the Pala Casino is open to debate, but they've definitely differentiated their advertising and I'll bet built a lot of awareness around their brand in the bargain.

It's a great lesson in zigging when everyone else zags.  The tourism world is awash in attractions and destinations chasing the same "price of entry" attributes that show up as "important" on consumer surveys.  Think of the ski industry — everyone wants to talk about how much snow they have.  Great snow will show up as a critical factor in surveys of consumers.  But here's the thing: most years, most ski hills will have snow (it's kind of why they exist).  Some years, you may get lucky and have "more snow" than the other guys, but it's not a sustainable position.  The same holds true for golf courses, shopping malls, casinos, and lots of other sectors that are often marketed using the same tired cliches with very little differentiation.

Give the consumers something new to consider — or better yet, attack the conventions and assumptions that exist in their heads, and you'll stand apart.

Note: We’ve re-published article as part of a series of the most popular pieces from our former blog (BrandCanadaBlog). We can’t promise all the links will work, and some of the references may be a bit dated, but we think the examples and insights are still valid.



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  3. Thanks for the interesting post! May I ask where you get your sources from?

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