Bacon lent some thoughts on slots and marketing in a tweet this week:
This weekend a bunch of big brands are going to "market" at the Super Bowl. For $4 million you can buy a Super Bowl ad, and some people think that's ridiculous - even some in the industry who track sales after impressions - and on the surface it might sound like it. But for some brands is it? I don't think so.
Super Bowl ads are watched at a higher rate than every day ads (according to the WSJ) because the channel doesn't change and people are geared to watch them. These ads come in at around 3 cents per impression. When you add the hundreds of millions of hits on youtube and in other places, like on Morning TV shows, the impression per dollar spend rises considerably.
By average measures it can be argued they're cheap. Budweiser's cool Puppy Love ad has had well over 20 million impression so far, just on youtube, and the ad has not even aired yet. Try to get that with your $40,000 thirty second spot during Dateline NBC.
I was asked last night by a non-marketer business associate how a Puppy Love ad encourages people buy beer. We see it each Super Bowl, so it is a good question.
Big brands rarely sell their real product in these ads because the Super Bowl marketing is greater than the product. Bud gains goodwill and positive branding for being a big player, and GoDaddy's CEO has said the same thing. Over time I am sure Dorito's hopes that they become the defacto snack chip at Super Bowl parties because partygoers want to eat the 'branded' snack chip of the big game, not some other one. These brands get tremendous pull.
"Marketing" horse racing is totally different. Selling the product of horse racing (what is it anyway? The Derby? Watching horses go around and sitting at picnic tables? The betting?) can't happen in this way, or with this type of mass market medium push. It doesn't work and it never works. It's a non-starter.
As we've written before, selling the game of racing along the tail, without mass market appeal but talking to a certain demographic, I believe is the way to go.
Paulick's second tweet and George's rather comical follow up are right, in my opinion. Pennsylvania does not need mass marketing. It needs a product worth marketing that needs severe restructuring so it can be marketed. Then they need some good old fashioned benjamins (if the slots cash is still there) and a plan to attack a target demographic that they've built the product for. If that's done not with a Super Bowl ad, but with laser-like long-tail precision, something positive can happen.
I know that's not flashy or exciting, but I believe that's what horse racing "marketing" is.
Have a nice weekend everyone.
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