What Happens in Vegas & Rio: the Future of Online Ads

By On

Are you passionate about poker? If so, where are you reading this? If you’re a pro or at least a serious poker fan, you’ll likely be at the Rio Las Vegas, where the World Series of Poker (WSOP) tournament is currently in full-swing. Or perhaps you’re only into online poker and have little interest in live tournaments?

This year is the 45th anniversary of the WSOP, but something’s new in 2014. This will be the first time players at the Rio will be able to practice online in their downtime using WSOP’s real-money brand, launched last September. Of course, players have more than one real-money brand to choose from. Aside from WSOP.com, there’s also Ultimate Poker and the new kid on Nevada’s online block, Real Gaming.Geo-Targeting & Nevada’s Online Poker MarketPoker ChipsAll three Nevada-facing real-money online poker operators will be using the WSOP as a testing ground for their online ad campaigns. They’ll be exploring issues of convergence between the tournament and their online brands, and looking at how they can use advertising to convert live players into online ones. By tailoring their banners to live poker players in Vegas for the event, they can optimise their acquisition of new online players.

Of course, the Silver State is larger than just Sin City. While some players in northern Nevada cities like Reno and Carson City will likely be heading south to the Rio, if online poker operators’ ad campaigns have too much of a focus on the tournament, they risk alienating a number of local players. A banner for a real-money online brand that ties into the WSOP may be effective at converting someone in Vegas just for the tournament, but it wouldn’t be as impactful to players living in nearby Boulder City who prefer online poker to the live version of the game.Online Poker Ads Tailored for Two CitiesThe ideal solution, of course, would be two different banners: a WSOP-centric ad for poker fans visiting Vegas for the tournament, and another focusing on Nevada residents living outside Sin City. A diversified online ad campaign of this sort would require technology with sophisticated geo-targeting capabilities.

Rural NevadaFortunately, such technology exists. Income Access’ Ad Serving, an easily integrated add-on to our platform, lets operators geo-target their banners down to a city level. Using Ad Serving, someone taking time-out from the WSOP in the Rio’s Voodoo Steakhouse with their iPad could see a tournament-focused ad for an online brand, while, simultaneously, someone living in Reno or even rural Nevada (photo, right) would be served a completely different ad for the brand while visiting the exact same website.From ‘Viva Las Vegas’ to Australia after ‘Flying Down to Rio’Aussie FlagThe geo-targeting capabilities of Ad Serving aren’t just restricted to Nevada. The software can be used to optimise ads in any market on the planet. When, for instance, WSOP ends in mid-July there are always the international versions of the poker tournament to focus on. In October, poker pros will head down under to Melbourne to compete in the WSOP Asia-Pacific. Using Ad Serving, online poker operators can create campaigns targeting players visiting Australia’s second largest city and simultaneously serve ads to other global markets.

There’s more, though, to optimising ad campaigns than geo-targeting and there’s more to iGaming than the poker vertical. Beyond targeting ads to players based on their location, Ad Serving lets operators serve banners according to numerous other criteria, including players’ browsing settings, an ad’s popularity, and, perhaps most importantly, the time of day.

Football PitchTime-sensitive ads are highly useful when operators are publicising sports-betting brands, which are connected to events with limited durations such as football matches. Next Thursday the World Cup will start its one-month reign over the football world’s attention. Given the time difference with Brazil, Europe-facing sports betting operators can use Ad Serving to target their ads to players at very specific times. If an England match is taking place in Rio de Janeiro, operators can set their ads to appear in the countdown to the match and also acknowledge the four-hour time difference between the UK and Brazil.

When the software’s geo-location functionality is combined with its time-settings and other features, the possibilities for operators to optimise their online ads are almost endless. Whether they’re using the platform to improve the performance of their campaigns for Brazil 2014 or the World Series of Poker, Ad Serving is changing the marketing rules for both online games.