We have become celebrity mad over the last decade or two. Every other TV show seems to have the word ‘celebrity’ in the title, and all businesses know that teaming up with the right famous face can help bring customers through their doors.
Famous names in films, well known TV presenters in car and insurance commercials, and ex-footballers writing articles for newspapers and online publications – it’s all about keeping eyes on the brand.
The online bingo industry is especially hot on celebrity promotion, because they know that a popular celeb will not only attract more players, but will give their brand more credibility over others.
It’s a hugely competitive industry is online bingo, so anything a company can do to stand out is necessary to survive. We have all seen plenty of new bingo sites opening and then closing within just a few years, and this is why.
It used to go on back before the internet as well, with bingo halls employing well known variety acts to appear at their clubs, and even to act as bingo caller in some instances depending on the talents of the person involved.
But why does using celebrities work? Why do us bingo players like it? And who are some of the most famous examples?
How do Bingo Brands Use Celebrities?
Some brands agree long lasting deals with celebrities, who become the face of the brand and are very closely associated with them, often filming many adverts over the years and appearing in print and on the website.
Other times a celebrity might be brought onboard for a specific advertising campaign, or even just to host a bingo room for an hour or two as a one off engagement. Smaller celebs tend to do this type of thing – it’s a bit like a bingo version of making a public appearance at a party venue, and bingo players love it because they can virtually hang out with a star and even potentially throw a few questions their way.
Sometimes the celebrities are used as themselves, and sometimes they play characters related to the brand.
For example, Verne Troyer (Mini Me from Austin Powers) played ‘The Boss’ for BGO and Barbara Windsor played ‘The Queen of Bingo’ for Jackpot Joy, but Mel B promoted Costa Bingo as herself and even used her old Scary Spice name to link them up, saying that Costa had “Jackpots so big, they’re scary” as a tagline.
A few of the very well known celebrities that have worked with online bingo brands include:
|Kerry Katona||Bingos, Bingo Giving, Bingo With Kerry|
|Mel B||Costa Bingo|
|Barbara Windsor||Jackpot Joy|
|Paddy McGuinness||Jackpot Joy|
|Peter Andre||Gala Bingo, Wink Bingo|
|Heather Graham||Foxy Bingo|
|Louise Redknapp||Mecca Bingo|
|Vinnie Jones||Daily Star Games|
Not all of these partnerships were a success mind you, and some of the brands have even since closed down.
It’s not always the celebrities themselves that are used to promote brands though.
Partnerships with popular TV shows and soaps have also led to bespoke bingo games and rooms being created, many of which have been running for many years and remain popular.
- Coronation Street Bingo
- Emmerdale Bingo
- The X Factor Bingo
- I’m a Celebrity Bingo
- The Chase Bingo
- Deal or No Deal Bingo
- Tipping Point Bingo
- Friends Bingo
Some of these even provide unique opportunities, such as getting a few Coronation Street characters to host the room every now and again, for example, which fans of bingo and soaps would absolutely love.
These may be famous shows rather than famous people, but the reason for the link up is the same: people are fans, like the show, and will therefore choose sites that have these games over those that don’t.
We all behave in this way, even if we think we are not susceptible to advertising.
What is a ‘Celebrity’
Without sounding too much like the presenter on QI, it’s interesting to look into what the word ‘celebrity’ really means and why people want to be associated with them.
The word ‘celebrity’ is very similar to the word celebrate, and that’s because celebrities were originally people who were celebrated in their area of work. In fact, the definition of the word is: “the state of being celebrated”.
Actors, musicians, models etc., are all just doing their jobs but some of them gain worldwide fame and recognition for being especially good at that job, while others doing the same jobs go by largely unnoticed.
These days though, the word celebrity can basically mean anyone who has ever been on the telly for any reason, and we seem obsessed with them.
Nevertheless, us common folk are drawn to people with celebrity status – we want to meet them, get them to sign things, have pictures with them, or have them reply to our social media messages. Any kind of association or interaction will do.
This is why advertising and celebrity run bingo games are such a hit, and when you look at the largest demographic of online bingo players (women between the ages of 25-45 make up 54% of players according to a YouGov poll) the type of celebrities bingo companies hire make total sense.
Daytime TV stars like Kerry Katona, national treasures like Barbara Windsor, and an army of 90s ex-popstars have all taken a turn calling the balls; it gives players a reason to show up and makes the game feel more like a special event.
Why are we Fascinated by Celebrities?
Well, we’re bingo fans not psychologists, but some people who are psychologists have said that it can feed our psychological needs and help give us an identity, a bit like supporting a football team. Knowing what is going on with someone of high status can be beneficial to us too, give us things to talk about, and also makes us feel better about ourselves – we even imitate them by following their fashion choices.
For example, before TV stars were a thing it was the Royal family and the Lords and Ladies who were the celebrities of the day – in fact, the reason brides still wear white wedding dresses to this day is because Queen Victoria wore one when she got married in 1840 and created a trend. We are still following celebrity wedding fashion trends from 200 years ago!
So using celebs to increase brand awareness isn’t specific to bingo, but it definitely works with bingo fans and we all seem to enjoy it.