Friday, February 26, 2010

Is Caesars Atlantic City “Swinging” for a New Target Market?

Just a few months ago, on these very pages, I gave kudos to Caesars Atlantic City and its Total Rewards loyalty program.

During some trying times for the economy in general, and Atlantic City in particular, Caesars AC was making some smart moves to get its loyalty program members back to the casino.

Last week, Caesars AC got my attention again. But not in a good way. You see, they ran a rather bizarre full-page ad in the Sunday NYTimes magazine.

Let’s start with the photo in the ad (which can be seen above): a well-dressed 30-something guy has a pretty woman to his right. She has one hand on his shoulder and another wrapped tightly around his arm. It looks like they’re at a show. Okay so far, except our guy seems more interested in another woman to his left. He has his lips to her ear and her extended arm appears to be resting on his thigh.

Under the headline “The Life You Were Meant to Live“, the stilted copy reads:
Who is that in Section A, Row 1, Seat 5, having the time of your life? That’s Todd. Flanked by your fiery vixens. Paying no attention to your favorite band on stage. But give credit where it’s due. Todd is an escape artist. And when it’s time for a getaway, he get it’s right.


Putting aside the confusing use of the possessive “your”, who are the fiery vixens with Todd? Am I supposed to pretend I’m Todd…on some kind of a three-way tryst? Is this what they mean by “he gets it right?” More importantly, did Caesars’ market research show the ménage a trois market to be a growing demographic?

Personally, I can only think of one word for the ad – Stupid.

Instead of creating a scenario that the largely upscale readership of the NYTimes magazine might be able to imagine themselves in, they’ve come up with a fictional character in a contrived situation that’s a non-starter for anyone not in the “swinger” category.

It of course begs the question, what were they thinking? The only thing I can come up with is that Caesars AC is trying to out Vegas-Vegas.

Sorry Caesars, as much as I like you and your loyalty program, you’re no Vegas. And there are better ways to spend your precious marketing dollars.

This article was originally published on Loyalty Truth on February 15, 2010, and was written by Tom Rapsas, a 20 year direct and loyalty marketing veteran. He can be reached on Twitter @tomrapsas

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