- Once seen as the staple of the northern working men's club and cigarette smoking pensioners, bingo is now attracting a younger, trendier audience.
- The number of bingo halls in the UK has fluctuated wildly in recent years, whilst new online bingo sites emerge on an almost weekly basis
- Modern marketing methods and improving technology have been cited as the reasons behind bingo’s revival
If you had approached one of the most reputable PR agencies in the world 20 years ago and asked them to help rebrand bingo and market it to a younger audience, you would have been laughed out of the building.
Bingo’s long-running affiliation with those of pensionable age was so far ingrained that it seemed that the game would never reach out to a younger demographic. Yet, in 2019 it has and is now one of the fastest-growing markets within the gambling industry as a whole.
Online bingo’s gross gambling yield reached £688.3 million last year, with many industry experts predicting that figure to rise to £800 million in the next twelve months. The targeting of Millenials has undoubtedly contributed to the game’s rising fortunes, but how exactly did bingo successfully appeal to that demographic?
Some Early Admin - What Is a Millenial?
If you read the tabloids regularly, you may think that a ‘Millenial’ is anyone with a university degree, a vegan lifestyle and a love of the European Union. Millenial has become a byword for ‘everything that’s wrong with Britain’. In fact, it describes anyone born between 1981 and 1996, basically the younger generation of adults.
Now that’s cleared up, let’s move onto how online bingo companies successfully marketed the game towards Millenials.
As the famous Chinese proverb goes, ‘the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step’. For online bingo companies that single step was middle-aged players, as opposed to pensioners.
In the mid-noughties when internet gambling was just starting to take off, online bingo companies sought out middle-aged men and women as their target demographic. These potential new players were advertised through traditional means, predominantly TV adverts.
Bingo was of coursed rebranded, but marketing experts were careful not to completely change the image of the game altogether. They wanted to reach a slightly younger audience with just one or two tweaks to the essence of the game.
It was the success of this shifting demographic change that emboldened companies to up the ante and go after an even younger audience. TV adverts may have worked for Generation X players, but to grab the attention of Millenials online bingo companies had to look at...
Out of every adult generation, Millenials spend the most time a day on the internet, either through their smartphones or on laptops. On average, a Millenial will spend a staggering 223 minutes a day on the internet.
That trend has had a massive impact on a whole host of sectors ranging from politics to gambling. It is now widely accepted that the best way to reach customers, particularly younger ones, is via the internet and untraditional means of advertising, marketing, and communications.
In politics, for example, the rise of independent blogs and news aggregate sites has led to the declining sales of print newspapers. Likewise, in bingo, the emergence of affiliate sites like Bingoport has coincided with the decline of the traditional bingo halls.
Affiliates like the one mentioned above aggregate all the latest bingo offers and promotions available online. In doing so they have developed a reputation as a trusted brand that will allow their readers to make the most of their money and avail of the latest offers.
Further to this, Bingoport runs its own reward programme, similar to other financial comparison sites, that allow readers to redeem loyalty points for shopping vouchers and technology like phones and tablets.
This hasn’t gone unnoticed by online bingo companies, who now dedicate a large percentage of their marketing budgets towards advertising campaigns on sites like Bingoport. What that means for companies is that they can directly target their promotions to a younger demographic with an existing interest in bingo.
For customers, it means better deals and helps them to feel empowered when they are choosing a supplier to play with.
What is bingo about? To many, it is about community and it is an event that defines the week, both from a social and relaxation perspective. That’s the traditional perception of bingo, but it’s not something that appeals to Millenials who spend over three hours a day on their mobile phones.
Seven out of ten Millenials play a game on their mobile phone and those that do spend on average 9.6 hours a week playing games on their phones. Simple, yet immersive games like Candy Crush are amongst the most popular games enjoyed by Millenials.
Online bingo has done it’s very best to mimic the feel, format, and style of these popular mobile games to appeal to a younger market, and they have succeeded. At a glance, it would be hard to tell the difference between an online bingo mobile app and a regular game solely from the design and layout.
Logically, we know that bingo is gambling and not gaming, however, savvy marketers and designers have managed to blur the lines. Giving online bingo the appearance of a mobile game has opened it up to a younger generation of players, hungry to fill the spare hours in their day with mobile gaming.
This rebranding was the final piece of the puzzle for online bingo, and cracking it has brought huge financial rewards for a selection of companies. Next on the agenda for the online bingo marketing gurus will be Generation Z as they emerge to replace Millenials in the next 5 years.