Why is the vast majority of existing online bingo marketing continuing to get the message so wrong by so heavily targeting the female demographic? I don’t mind saying that it’s getting me cross – I can’t see the sense in trying to sell a product to only 50% of the potential marketplace. Why is online bingo so hell bent on making itself the domain of ladies? Why are sites and adverts targeting just women? Why is their this big misconception that only women want to play Bingo?
Well, I have my own ideas on why. Many in online bingo don’t know actually know much about the actual game, other than it’s a great money spinner for them. I doubt many have ever set foot in an actual Bingo hall, or actively involved themselves in the culture of the game beyond actually making the sites. My own anecdotal evidence points me to this conclusion. At one point in last year’s Online Bingo Summit in London, a room full of online bingo industry people were asked how many had been to a Bingo hall. Less than half the room raised their hands. At another point the fact I actually played Bingo was laughed at by some high ranking execs in one online bingo company.
This lack of grass roots understanding carries across to the marketing and targeting the companies go in for. Ok, so in recent times it’s believed that women have been spending more time online than men and possibly catching up with men in the amount spent online (one older study has men outspending women by about 15% online.) However, I would argue that doesn’t necessarily make the women the best (or only) demographic to aim for.
I think Foxy Bingo claim that about 85% of their players are female, compared with around half for Sun Bingo. Coincidentally, I praised The Sun’s marketing for being gender neutral before, whilst Foxy’s is aimed squarely at the women. Now, to my mind that’s a lot of male business that Foxy is missing out on simply because of simple things like colour schemes and a lazy marketing plan.
Once again, I say it loud and I say it proud, men like playing bingo. Simple as that. We don’t mind spending money online, and we enjoy the game. We’d play it more if we didn’t feel we didn’t fit the clichéd view of your average Bingo player that these adverts reinforce. In the real world, the Bingo halls I’ve played at have lots of men there. In the real world Bingo halls don’t paint themselves pink, and make the men feel like invaders with feminine promotions and marketing. If they did, they’d be out of business a lot quicker.
So, once again I ask, why are so many online bingo sites hell bent on alienating so many of their potential punters? Here’s the latest batch of adverts for online bingo sites that I won’t be feeling like spending my money at on a regular basis. Talk about off-putting.
First up, Vic Reeves feels the need to dress as women to play at the 888 Ladies site, which as it happens, doesn’t actually mind men signing up and depositing money. Does this make me want to sign up? Nope, but it does make me want to go somewhere with a bit more of a masculine feel.
Then we have Think Bingo’s latest female fest. Ladies in a health spar surrounded by floating Bingo balls and all that jazz. Will I be thinking Think Bingo next time I’m looking for an online bingo to try? Will I heck. And nor will about 50% of the market place.
It’s a little bit older, but the PartyBingo.com advert has also been back on the screens once again. And once again, it’s made plain and simple who the site is aimed for. Well Party, it’s worked. I won’t be spending any money with you.