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Online Poker News Archives - June 2, 2005

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Copyright 2005 Haymarket Publishing Services Ltd

June 2, 2005


BYLINE: By Caroline Jones Group head, press buying, Starcom Mediavest

The card game of poker is shaping up as fuel for the next dotcom boom, as more and more people are starting to play online. With the lack of accessible casinos in this country, home games are becoming more and more popular - but not as popular as internet poker, which is in the midst of a worldwide boom, helped in part by the proliferation of reliable at-home broadband connections. Party Poker is the biggest of several online poker rooms competing for a share of this lucrative new market.

To launch itself in the UK, Party Poker chose to use a combination of outdoor and press advertising. The creative draws on an interesting consumer insight: in a face-to-face game of poker it is very easy for a player to give away 'tells' - unconscious signs that you are bluffing or holding a strong hand.

Expert poker players can pick up on anything from the way you stack your chips or sip your drink through to a visible quickening of the pulse in your neck. Online poker gets rid of all these aspects, because you can't see your opponent. It also opens up the opportunity to play against thousands of different people from all over the globe.

The campaign's strapline, 'Got a bad poker face?', combined with the brilliant picture card creative will, over time, prove to be its unique selling point. In a young and rapidly growing market there is the need to differentiate and Party Poker has successfully done so. It also adapted the creative to run around the election, with ads featuring the main party leaders, reinforcing the 'fun' element of the brand.

The campaign broke with a big splash in the national press, running several different creatives in one issue. Targeting upper-class men, the work ran across all the quality dailies, as well as in Metro, the London Evening Standard and The Sun. This was a clever tactic as it enabled Party Poker to achieve standout in an otherwise cluttered environment and avoided the annoyance factor, as the creative executions were all different and enjoyable.

The campaign then moved over to outdoor, where the theme continued, allowing Party Poker to reach a commuting audience in a big format. Going forward, Party Poker has developed a great 'entertainment' base which it can extend into many different media and marketing disciplines.

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