Can Bingo be sexy? OR There are some things that names just can’t do.

We applaud a challenging and novel rebrand effort when we see one – and we’d love to have been in the creative sessions that led to this. While we’re not sure it will get men pouring into bingo parlours, it certainly has an appeal to it.

Bingo4Him.com appears to be a creative attempt to pull in a younger audience to a game currently marketed to the retirement crowd. Among their reasons the virile men should play are:

  • You play it drinking beer – not only is the game played in social clubs, it’s actively designed to be played with a pint glass in one hand. In many clubs, the beer is cheap. In many halls, if you run out mid-session, they’ll bring you a fresh one.
  • It requires quiet and concentration – It’s a wonder women can play the game at all given the amount of concentration required and the need to stay quiet as the numbers are called.
  • You need balls – before computer technology took over the game, you needed a good set of balls to play the game. These balls were frequently blown by the resident blower.
  • We invented it – way back in the 16th Century in Italy, by blokes.
  • Women want to be equal – they’re getting everywhere in the world of sport and leisure, getting into social clubs, woman’s rugby teams and more. Let’s redress this balance – let’s get some equality and take back their domains as well.
  • Hmm… So we’re on the right track… And then they do this:

    Bingo will be full of hotties – ok, so at the moment, the image of the game means the type of women who you’d expect to be playing bingo would look like this.

    woman-playing.jpg

    …and it started out so promising.

    We actually like it, but when you’ve got a job as big as this one – making bingo (a game that requires an AARP card to play) sexy again we think that the transition must be gradual. You can’t turn a beater-car into a Benz by putting a new name and coat of paint on it – and we wouldn’t expect it. But you can make it a little more appealing – and that’s what’s beginning here. It’s sort of like those house-flipping shows on TV now – people buy a house for $100K then put $20K into the house and try to sell it for $200K. There’s a brand touch-up going on here – put in a little effort and try to get a bump in popularity. They’re not trying to make this James Bonds’ new fix, they just want to see if a few Frat Boys might drop some dough for a game.

    There are certainly other tactics we would try besides humor – something you don’t see used in Vegas much to draw in the young’n's. But with bingo such a loosely controlled game perhaps it isn’t possible to offer more targeted prizes, environments (like bowling has done to draw in youth,) and benefits across the board. There will always be the senior-citizen bingo game.

    Kudos to Daytrip Media for taking on the challenge. Here’s to hoping that they start changing the environment to match the message. (We aren’t sure who hired them, so we don’t know how much leeway they have to implement… but even the website is a good start.)

    The cruiselines are already fighting the same fight and it is beginning to have an effect. Perhaps we’ll know bingo’s rebrand has worked when cruise bingo is played exclusively by twenty-somethings looking for a good time…

    Tate Linden
    Principal Consultant
    Stokefire Consulting Group
    703-778-9925

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