Chinese New Year 2015 marked the Year of the Sheep, an exciting and auspicious time in the Chinese calendar, with an emphasis on celebrating family and welcoming good luck for the year
ahead. And it was Skycity’s challenge to make its own luck by using the event to reach out to its customer base and drive visitation.
Due to the nature of the business (which could also be referred to as businesses within a business) as not only the country’s biggest casino but also host to scores of bars, restaurants, hotels and a convention centre, it needed to create a campaign that reached out to a diverse range of demographics. This included families, men and women of all ages and backgrounds, foreign tourists, ethnic communities … the list goes on.
Because of the varied target demographic, Skycity needed to synchronise a huge variety of different promotional activities and elements all under a single banner as well as dealing with the individual businesses’ competing needs. And furthermore, as a casino, it also faced the challenge of adhering to stringent marketing regulations.
Skycity’s research showed that big, engaging promotions were a favourite with customers, so it set out to bring the Chinese New Year festivities to life through a memorable site-wide event.
Chinese New Year ceremonies are vast and often include lion dancing, fire crackers and fireworks, lantern parades, food, music and more. Skycity picked as many of these activities as possible to
incorporate into its own promotional calendar.
The scale of the campaign was huge and included site-wide theming, sponsorship of the Auckland Lantern Festival, entertainment and activation at the Skycity Breakers home game, branding of tuk tuks travelling from Skycity to the Lantern Festival, food and beverage specials, casino promotions, Bingo (Variety, The Children’s Charity fundraiser) promotions, traditional Chinese ceremonies mixed with modern Chinese performers (including fire dancers and acrobatics) as well as media activity to promote the events across radio, social and outdoor.
With smashing fortune cookies being a popular part of Chinese New Year festivities, it gave Skycity the opportunity to run a promotion called ‘Smash a Fortune’. This consisted of a casino floor promotion focused on Friday and Saturday nights to drive consumer behaviour with an emphasis on visitation and revenue. Skycity’s fortune cookies contained prizes ranging from cash, jewellery, gadgets and the major prize drawn on grand final night, a BMW X5.
Skycity was able to dramatically increase the number of reasons for consumer visitation and it was clear the business had excited and engaged with the wider Skycity community.
Its goal was to affirm its business position as the ‘home of entertainment’ for Auckland, which it felt it achieved by surpassing its key financial objectives and revenue targets.
Another positive outcome, though slightly unintended, was the establishment of a robust working model for working collaboratively across all Skycity marketing teams. The project was so successful that Skycity plans to use the model for ongoing projects.
The campaign was also an encouraging learning curve for the business, teaching it that stakeholder management can result in amazing customer and business engagement to drive success.