BCLC focuses on the entertainment side of the casino

The organization is attempting to reach casual visitors looking to overcome the "veto vote" when planning a group outing.

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The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) is continuing to highlight the non-gambling aspects of the casino experience, such as socializing and the dining, as it goes after irregular visitors.

With its new integrated campaign, running through March of next year, BCLC is reflecting a new audience’s motivations for a night out, and to challenge the perception that casinos are only for gambling.

According to Julie Ivanusec, senior marcom marketing specialist at BCLC, a segmentation study identified a new audience as having significant potential for growth – the casual player that currently only visits the casino once or twice a year and always visits with friends.

As a result, the campaign assets highlight that camaraderie flourishing in a casino under and the tagline “where the night comes together.” The organization, Ivanusec says, is emphasizing that casinos are “cool” and include varied entertainment options that can accommodate different tastes and sensibilities, to make group outing easier to organize and overcome the “veto vote” of one person who isn’t interested in the activity a group has planned.

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The timing of the campaign, Ivanusec says, is based around historical campaign performance. She says the summer has historically shown less uptake for campaigns, but the organization also avoids over-cluttered periods like Christmas.

In prior campaigns, BCLC identified people who were not opposed to visiting a casino but had not thought of them as an entertainment option, using former star of Beverley Hills 90210 (and North Vancouverite) Jason Priestley to get the message across.

According to its 2018/2019 annual report, BCLC – which operates 17 casinos in the province – achieved $1.415 billion in net income on revenue of $2.590 billion, $15.5 million and $87.6 million higher, respectively, than the previous year. However, revenue for the casino part of its business was relatively flat (falling by roughly $2 million) with net income down by $38.5 million. BCLC attributed this to higher slot machine revenue being offset by lower revenue and new operating costs for table games.

The campaign includes assets across TV, online video, display, social and OOH. Ivanusec adds that many visitors can be intimidated by not knowing some of the casino games, so additional campaign messaging directs audiences to watch easy-to-follow and relatable “how to play” videos. Creative was handled by Pound & Grain with media by MediaCom.