The casino that bills itself as being “minutes away, miles apart” is rolling out a new ad campaign, which positions itself as the place for those who like to gamble.
Sycuan Casino director of marketing Allan Krantz said that the casino employed local advertising firm MeadsDurket to help create the new image.
After six months of market research, Sycuan announced the campaign on June 4 , to coincide with the opening of a new 2,200-space parking garage.
“It’s a way to identify Sycuan with the ‘play’ button (found on slot machines),” said Krantz. “A new image based on research and perceptions.”
The multimillion-dollar campaign, said Krantz, will use print, TV, radio, direct mail and the Web, but will not feature a musical tag line, or jingle.
“I don’t want people to compare which jingle they like better,” said Krantz, referring to the casino’s current infectious “minutes away, miles apart” jingle, which Krantz helped develop.
“The jingle was nice, but anytime you change from one jingle to another, you have comparisons.
“(The new campaign) is designed to basically take us to that next level and gives us a strong position in the marketplace,” Krantz said.
In its research, MeadsDurket said it found that Sycuan is viewed as a friendly, neighborhood casino known for its games , slots in particular.
“What we’re trying to do is differentiate them because there are several casinos in the market,” said Gary Meads, president of MeadsDurket.
Meads said 15 staffers spent three months compiling research from Sycuan employees, management, customers and competitors’ customers, including those from Las Vegas.
MeadsDurket has refurbished images for such high-profile brands as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Union Bank of California. Gary Meads said that the costs for brand makeovers are split between research and development and ads.
“The ultimate production has a bigger cost and involves film companies and the like,” said Meads.
“It’s a very new direction for them and it’ll be consistent throughout all their marketing materials externally as well as internally.”
Krantz said competing casinos tend to focus on extra-gaming activities, such as outlet centers and high-end restaurants, whereas Sycuan’s draw is in its gaming and atmosphere.
“If they want big shows, they’ll go to Vegas,” said Krantz, adding that the typical Sycuan customer is local, driving 35 to 40 miles to the casino located in El Cajon.
“We provide an exceptional gaming experience,” Krantz said. “It distinguishes us from casinos with other amenities.”
, Andy Killion