Celebrity Casino Endorsements
There is a growing trend of celebrity casino endorsements. Even though some players might be excited to see their favourite famous face plastered all over a casino, the trend does have its pros and cons. You might be wondering if celebrity endorsements attract new players, how they could ever be a bad thing, and even if such an endorsement matters at all? We let you know what we think about it below.
A Few Famous Faces
Celebrities are more famous for getting into trouble at casinos than for endorsing them. The trend is fairly new, and mostly because of tight restrictions on casino adverts. However, endorsements do not have to be limited to appearing in advertisements. Remember, though, that whenever you see a famous person endorsing a casino, they are doing it because they were paid to do it, and not because they love that particular casino so much that they want to shout it from the rooftops.
Paris Hilton, famous for having a rich father and a Chihuahua, is one celebrity who has endorsed a casino. She appeared with Verne Troyer, best known for his role as Mini-Me in some of the Austin Powers movies, in online casino adverts. Robert De Niro, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Martin Scorsese were paid more than US$8 million each to appear at the opening of a US$2 billion Chinese casino owned by Lawrence Ho and James Packer.
Do Celebrity Endorsements Work?
We have yet to find hard and fast data about whether celebrity casino endorsements actually attract new players. However, if the response to such endorsements in other industries is anything to go by, they do. This is due to what Nottingham Trent University Professor of gambling studies Dr Mark Griffiths calls the psychology of intrinsic association. According to Prof. Griffiths, this is the level at which gambling activity is associated with other people or attractions in a positive way.
One of its effects is to lead players to believe that they already have some knowledge of the casino or game before they actually start playing. Basically, players would see the celebrity and think that, if the person they admire says the casino is a good one, then it must be.
Celeb Endorsements Gone Wrong
If you are curious to know whether celebrity casino endorsements could ever go horribly wrong, just ask the UK’s National Lottery. They thought it would be a good idea to get comedian Billy Connolly to promote the lotto. In theory, the idea was a good one. However, a significant number of Britons were so irritated by Connolly’s lottery adverts, ticket sales decreased. When casinos approach a celebrity for endorsement, it should be done with care. Casinos should think very carefully about whether that celebrity’s reputation, and even their image, is in keeping with the casino’s image. A celebrity endorsement should inspire confidence and trust in players, and should portray gaming in a positive way.
Do Celeb Endorsements Matter?
Celebrity casino endorsements might not matter all that much after all. A Marketing UK survey found that approaches such as loyalty clubs, regular advertising, promotions and special offers, such as those detailed on our Promotions page, were more effective than celebrity endorsements were at increasing brand loyalty.
One of the risks of using celebrities to create awareness of a casino brand is that the celebrity might be hot news one day, and a has-been the next. If that does happen, or if casino marketers can only afford someone still trying to cash in on the fame they had 20 years ago, the casino can appear dated and behind-the-times.