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2011 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards
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2011 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards
Oct 03, 2011
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2011 Casino Buzz Sherpie Awards
1. Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
ANNUAL THE 2nd // and the winners are… For this year’s Sherpie Awards, we sent out a call for nominees so that casino marketers like you could tell us which brands have the finest social media chops. Through a partnership with Global Gaming Business magazine, our SocialSherpa™ team narrowed down the best of the best from over a hundred casinos across the country. So without further ado, we present to you the winners of the 2011 Sherpie Awards. Congratulations to everyone mentioned in the following pages – you’ve truly embraced the power of social media and successfully integrated it into your marketing plans. Keep up the excellent work. 2012 is going to be an even bigger year for social media – and we’re always here to help. If you think your social efforts could use a boost, feel free to drop us a line. email@example.com For the sake of full disclosure and fairness, we did not include any of our own clients as nominees. P R E S E N T E D B Y &Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best App / Interactive Game: Pechanga Resort & Casino - “Slot Wars” Pechanga Resort & Casino has become quite the leader in the social gaming space. Their latest go-round, called Slot Wars™ is an interactive Facebook game in which fans can customize their own slot machines and “battle” other players to see who has the highest scoring creation. This has not only engaged Pechanga’s Facebook fans significantly – it also got them thinking and talking about the casino’s primary product, and sharing it with their friends. At its peak, Slot Wars had 10,000 active players from Southern California (one of Pechanga’s core markets), and fans spent an astounding average of 40 minutes per session playing the game. These players also significantly increased their slot play on-property, and 75% of them felt more positively about the Pechanga brand. Overall, a win-win for this West Coast resort.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Social PR Stunt: Tropicana Casino & Resort - “That’s Bull! (April Fools’ Hoax)” This past April Fools’ Day, Tropicana and Atlantic City Weekly teamed up to stage a bullish stunt that would generate a lot of online conversations. After publishing a realistic photo of a bull standing inside the casino on AtlanticCityWeekly.com, Tropicana decided to leak this breaking news to their audience of more than 25,000 Facebook fans. The post received over 45,000 impressions on Facebook, and the article bucked its way into the number one spot of AC Weekly’s most popular articles. This shocking buzz builder not only drew attention to the Tropicana brand, but also created chatter about the rodeo that was in town for April Fools’ Day weekend. Trop followed the story up with fun appearances by a cute costumed bull all over the property, posting these photos on their Facebook page to create even more conversations.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Online-Meets-Offline Promotion: River City Casino - “Hide & Go Eat” River City Casino leveled up their social interaction by creating a scavenger hunt involving twenty double-sided paper coins hidden throughout the property. They asked their Facebook fans to step away from their computers and come into the casino in search of one of the gold coins, which would win them a dinner for two at 1904 Steakhouse. This hide-and-seek promotion not only created awareness for the restaurant, but also added a little excitement for the casino’s flock of Facebook fans. During the two weeks that the promotion ran, River City gained hundreds of new Facebook fans and received over 120,000 page views. It also turned online engagement into real-life interaction, followed by more online engagement as fans returned to the Facebook page to put their coins up.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Use of Facebook Connect: Mohegan Sun - “Shine Maker” Facebook Connect is a way for you to login to a regular website using your Facebook profile, allowing it to pull some of your personal content such as photos and friends’ names. Mohegan Sun used this platform very effectively for their new app, the Shine Maker, which creates custom user-generated experiences that’ll leave you feeling like a star. Imagine creating your own unique Shining Moment: inviting your entourage of Facebook friends, and customizing how much you want to relax, socialize, savor, splurge, rock, and of course, game. These selections lead to a custom video catered specifically to you, showing what kind of excitement is waiting for you at Mohegan Sun. The Connect platform makes it easy to share this video with your friends on Facebook and Twitter, spreading word of the casino’s brand even further across the web.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Viral Video Campaign: MGM Grand Las Vegas - “You Decide” MGM Grand Las Vegas opted to make their ‘traditional’ media social by producing a series of choose-your-own-adventure-style TV spots specifically for YouTube. The videos start out with a couple or a group of friends checking into the casino’s hotel. Sounds pretty normal, right? Here’s the twist: you get to click and decide whether the characters will have a good experience, or a bad one. This creative use of YouTube annotations kept MGM’s audience engaged in the storyline of the commercials, because they got to participate in what happened next. Not to mention, an exclusive room rate deal was revealed at the end of the “Good” video, giving viewers even more reasons to share this experience across their social networks. These ads helped MGM Grand develop stronger brand recognition, engagement, and true “viral” status, reaching well over 200,000 views in only a matter of weeks.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Multi-Property Branding Initiative: Caesars Entertainment - “No Resort Fees/Angry Showgirls” Rather than simply announcing the elimination of resort fees at all nine of their Vegas properties, Caesars Entertainment built an integrated social media movement around it. The campaign started with an “Angry Showgirls” protest, in which Caesars closed the Strip to traffic as over 50 showgirls marched with signs supporting the “No Resort Fees” rallying cry. During the stunt, #NoResortFees and #AngryShowgirls trended on Twitter, and USA TODAY and MSNBC covered the event nationally. Next, Caesars Entertainment banded together their nine properties online to pose the question, “What If Real Life Had Resort Fees?” A user-generated video contest allowed Facebook fans of each casino to voice their own opinions and join the conversation, and all nine properties echoed the “No Resort Fees” message in their profile pictures and posts. Collectively, this campaign received nearly 6,000 “Likes” on Facebook, over 14,000 YouTube views, and an impressive amount of engagement among Caesars’ social media community.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Use of Twitter: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas uses Twitter for what it’s truly meant to be: a two-way conversation with their consumers, and a vehicle for customer service. They recognize that you must take the time to respond to your patrons, even when the comments are negative. The Cosmopolitan makes their followers – the “curious class” – feel appreciated and exclusive. This cultured group would much rather read “stories worth sharing” than see an unending stream of self-promotion. The Cosmopolitan continues to engage this audience by tweeting a distinct balance of questions, VIP deals, personable interactions, and interesting tidbits that intrigue the curious class. The young Vegas casino has truly humanized their brand in the social space, earning a following of over 9,000 in the six months prior to opening and over 26,000 followers to date. Now that’s something worth tweeting about.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best Use of Geo-Location Platforms: Caesars Entertainment - “The Great Race to Rewards” & “Top Guest” Caesars Entertainment was an early adapter of the geo-location platform Top Guest, in which patrons can earn points by “checking in” to various Caesars properties across the country or by sharing photos with their social networks. In addition, Caesars infused the location-based craze into their Total Rewards program by creating “The Great Race to Rewards.” This multi-faceted promotion encouraged Total Rewards members to check in to their favorite Caesars properties, find secret codes on Facebook, and enter them into the mobile site to win prizes. The microsite was easy to use, easy to share, and offered several ways for visitors to win. Caesars’ geo-location strategy succeeded because they tied in a game dynamic that every casino-goer loves: incentive. From badges to reward credits, gift cards to getaways – there was a little something to win for everyone involved. The result: web traffic turned foot traffic, followed by even more web traffic as patrons sustain a perpetual cycle of online and on-property interaction.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011 Best in Show: The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas truly gets it. They aren’t just using social media because everyone else is doing it, and executing a scattered series of one-off tactics to keep up with the Jones’s. Instead, this fresh-on-the-scene casino planned ahead, and integrated their social media initiatives to achieve their business objectives: establish a unique, personable brand; build a positive relationship with their online community; and give their audience “stories worth sharing,” ultimately driving visits, hotel stays and advocacy. The Cosmopolitan integrated a strategic plan of Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, YouTube and Flickr to engage their audience across multiple platforms. They started by establishing a unique brand voice on the web to build interest before launch. Then, they used well-branded promotions and integration of traditional advertising to drive traffic and acquisition to their social channels, continuing to engage these visitors with interesting content. Their Picture Perfect View Photo Contest on Facebook was just one of the many ways Cosmopolitan got their customers sharing their stories. This promotion asked fans to submit their own Picture Perfect Views, for a chance to win a Cosmopolitan getaway with a panoramic view of the Sin City skyline. The contest received 373 entries and nearly 30,000 total impressions. The fan-submitted photos were also displayed on Flickr to reach even more potential advocates of the Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan’s Facebook page gained almost 20,000 “Likes” by January 2011 (now over 53,000), and their Twitter following increased from zero to 9,099 (now over 25,000). Their Foursquare is booming with more than 19,000 unique visitors and over 35,000 check-ins. Their YouTube channel saw over 250,000 views during the launch period, and is well on its way to approaching one million. Overall, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas built an extremely successful integrated social media campaign, and deserves our “Best In Show” Sherpie of the year.Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011// Best in ShowSocial Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
BEST OF 2011// Runners Up Let’s face it, there are a lot of casinos out there – most of whom are active on social media channels, and doing a pretty good job at it so far. We haven’t forgotten about you. Here’s a list of those rising stars that almost made the Sherpie cut. Choctaw Casino Resort Durant, OK Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel Salamanca, NY Mardi Gras Casino Hallandale Beach, FL We’re looking forward to seeing bigger and better things come from these properties in the months to come. And as always, if you’d like some help, drop us a line. Sign up for our Casino Buzz Report to see how other casinos are using social media. masterminds1.com/casino-buzz/Social Sherpa™ —A division of Masterminds masterminds1.com/socialsherpa © MASTERMINDS 2011
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