The Effective Use of Celebrities for Marketing in iGaming

By: MRT Desk

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Online gambling spends a lot on marketing. Given the stiff competition in the sector, it makes sense operators want to gain maximum exposure to attract players. So, they use different strategies to position themselves in the industry. Collaborations with celebrities are some of the tactics internet casinos employ to market themselves to gamblers. Endorsements by famous personalities are old marketing tricks brands use. The idea behind the strategy is that recognisable faces inspire confidence, making it easy for consumers to trust a particular brand.

Some of the biggest casinos and bookmakers have made big deals with popular figures in entertainment and sports. The age of social media made influencer marketing a significant part of doing business, where celebrities use their platforms to sell products and services to consumers. If you are considering capitalising on star power to drive traffic to a gambling website, then know how to execute this marketing approach. Gambling products rank low on the effectiveness of celebrity endorsement. Only 9% of consumers think influencers promote iGaming brands successfully. Therefore, online casinos should know what works and what doesn’t.

The Regulation of Celebrity Advertising

Before crafting any campaign involving a public figure, a gambling site must know the legal implications of this type of marketing. Different countries have varying regulations governing how iGaming companies sell their products and services. National gambling regulators work to protect consumers, which entails defining how operators advertise. In Australia, for example, any entity advertising gambling services and products require a licence under state and territory laws. As of February 2021, the regulation of influencer marketing got stricter, requiring endorsers to disclose their relationships with brands when promoting products and services.

In the UK, gambling operators can use third parties for advertising but with clear identification. It means an endorsement must disclose if an advertisement is paid. As the advertiser, you are also supposed to indicate if an advertisement is a sponsored post or an advertorial. The Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) is also working on new rules to govern gambling advertising. For example, the body is working to ban ads with a strong appeal to under 18-year-olds, like using a celebrity whose fan base includes minors.

Celebrity advertising is more complicated in Spain where the direct or indirect use of prominent public figures in gambling ads is banned. Also, gambling brands cannot enter into shirt sponsorships. Operators caught in violation can pay fines of up to €1 million. Seeing how the laws on celebrity advertising vary across nations, operators need to be careful when entering partnerships. What could be an effective plan for one market might not work for the next. A Luckydays Casino celebrity campaign would have to factor in the legislation in the different regions it serves.

Besides the codes of practice in specific markets, online casinos have to consider a few other aspects if they are to advertise using celebrities successfully.

The Celebrity’s Image

If a gambling platform taps a public figure to sell its products and services, then that influencer becomes part of its image. A good example is Neymar Jr. and PokerStars. For a while, the Brazilian football star was the face of the largest poker site. Celebrity endorsement means that consumers associate a brand with that particular personality. Thus, you must ensure the endorser you pick is worth it. The celebrity is an extension of your brand. So, his or her reputation reflects on the entire company. Whatever your brand ambassador does is tied back to you. Therefore, your choice of endorser can make or break the gaming site. Research your preferred star thoroughly to rule out any undesirable history that could tarnish your brand.

Pick the Right Personality

One reason celebrity advertising fails is that brands don’t always work with the right endorser. Not every famous person can give you the results you want when selling your gambling services and products. You have to know how to choose an influencer who appeals to your target market. For this reason, invest in research. Find out which personality impresses the consumer. Of course, you must first decide who you are advertising to. Is it a first-time player? The female gamblers? Existing customers? 

Once you narrow down this audience, you can find celebrities that appeal to those consumers. It might take a lot of work and time, but if you get it right, it is worth the trouble. Celebrities come in different forms and appeal to varying demographics. Some are a hit among millennials, while others cater to the older generations. Comic lovers are enthusiastic about different personalities compared to sports fans. So, these interests determine how much influence a public figure has among certain populations.

Consider Players as Influencers

Don’t limit your definition of a celebrity when looking for a prominent personality to promote an online casino. Almost anyone can be a star, especially in the age of social media. Internet gamblers can also be celebrities. The World Series of Poker has turned into one of the biggest events in iGaming. Tournament winners are considered stars to some degree. Hence, gambling websites use past competitors as endorsers. You can do the same with jackpot winners. Players make the best influencers for gambling advertising because consumers relate to them. If you are thinking about joining an online casino, you would likely pay attention to marketing messages from an individual familiar with the experience. It is for the same reason operators partner with Twitch casino streamers. Players can easily form a physiological association with these characters.

Although gambling advertising restrictions keep increasing, the use of celebrities remains an interesting approach to boost exposure. Public figures can help you sell iGaming services and products by leveraging the trust people have in them. The intrinsic association consumers make between celebrities and online gambling helps sell a brand. However, an effective campaign requires you to learn a few rules. 

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