When iGaming marketing goes wrong

by David Hellowell

In the digital marketing industry, not all the usual rules apply to the iGaming sector. They boom when other clients are failing and can get away with donning the SEO black hat every once in a while. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all their tactics are underhand and shady.

Many iGaming companies pride themselves on bringing in players via promotions and events. Unique competitions, such as the GeoGuesser quiz from Europa Casino generates shareable content that can really help to promote a brand, while sport sponsorships like the recent partnership between WSOP.com and the NHL’s New York Rangers aloe penetration of a larger potential demographic.

However, one brand remains firmly in our collective memories when it comes to controversial promotions: Paddy Power. To their credit, Paddy Power are experts at capturing media attention, and they don’t always get it wrong.

In September of last year, the Irish bookmaker launched an innovative and simple campaign with the aim to tackle homophobia in football. In association with Stonewall, all footballers from 134 professional clubs across the UK were sent rainbow coloured shoelaces and encouraged to wear them in their games to show their support for gay players.

This incredibly impassioned campaign catapulted Paddy Power as a positive brand and an ambassador for this issue. As a result of the campaign and social media promotion, the company was even shortlisted for the Best Integrated Marketing Campaign in the BT Sports Industry Awards 2014.

Despite this though, there are times when the bookmaker undoubtedly gets it wrong. The most recent example of this is the banned Oscar Pistorius advertising campaign, which was branded “offensive” by the Advertising Standards Authority Ireland (ASAI).

The Paralympian was accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February of last year. Paddy Power offered customers the opportunity to bet on the outcome of Pistorius’ trial. “IT’S OSCAR TIME,” stated the advert, which showed the accused’s face on an Oscar statue, “MONEY BACK IF HE WALKS. WE WILL REFUND ALL LOSING BETS ON THE OSCAR PISTORIUS TRIAL IF HE IS FOUND NOT GUILTY.”

The ASAI ruled to ban the advert from all media on the grounds that the Oscar statuette image “appeared to make light of murder and domestic violence” and that the money back offer “could be seen to trivialise the difficulties associated with disability including amputees or those with other mobility problems.” The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority reached a similar verdict.

The news of the ASAI ban comes only shortly after Paddy Power came under fire for opening betting on the next animal slaughter to occur at the Copenhagen Zoo. Following the killing of a healthy male giraffe and a family of lions at the zoo, Paddy Power were seen to be capitalising on an event that many saw as needless and tragic.

Paddy Power is hugely successful when it comes to marketing and brand awareness, but the aforementioned campaigns should come as some warning to other iGaming companies. The bookmaker is of a considerable size to mean that these negative results do not hinder their efforts too much. A smaller company, and one less associated with such ‘out there’ marketing techniques, could be ruined if they decided to go down a similar route. Shareability should also rank higher in your priorities than controversy.

Free event ionSearch Travel arrives next month

by joelturner

We’re pleased to announce the return of ionSearch, with ionSearch Travel taking place next month.

The brainchild of Blueclaw and Linkdex, the invite-only event will focus on online marketing in travel and takes place at the Dominion Theatre on Thursday December 5th (1.30 -5.30pm).

The event will bring together leading online marketing thought-leaders from the travel sector, with speakers from Expedia, Thomas CookTravelSupermarket, Blueclaw and Linkdex sharing their insights on search marketing (organic and paid), social media marketing and effective online content.

The event will incorporate a series of short presentations from our experts, as well as roundtable discussions.

If you work in the travel space and are looking for some inspiration to help shape or enhance your online campaigns in 2014 please request an invitation by emailing joel.turner(at)blueclaw.co.uk.

Tickets are limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

Our confirmed travel experts include:

Howdy Mozcon 2013! ionSearch’s Martin Woods visits Seattle

by Martin Woods

The space themed atmosphere off Mozcon 2013 in Seattle

In online marketing most of the world is probably aware now of Moz (formally SEOMoz), but do we all understand the ideology behind Moz Founder Rand Fishkin’s vision for the future of our industry?

“Inspire yourself to be better marketers” Rand Fishkin

I have to be honest that although I’d heard of TAGFEE before, I’d never really fully understood the philosophy behind it. Let’s face it, our industry has a pretty bad reputation for being populated by a lot of spam and snake oil marketers, and unfortunately a lot of it is entirely deserved. Whether we like it or not, the biggest problem with our industry is the lack of transparency, poor information and short sightedness of some of those who work in it. Read More »