Quick Hits Slots’ Jerry O’Connell Campaign
Quick Hit Slots ran a commercial campaign featuring actor Jerry O’Connell on major networks, cable, and streaming services in early 2023. The campaign shows O’Connell walking through the Vegas strip as he touts the app’s authentic Vegas experience and a 6M coin welcome bonus for new players (image). Two cuts of the ad (a 15-second and 30-secondversion) ran from 1/23/23 to 2/12/23.
The campaign is part of developer SciPlay’s focus on strategic partnerships and traditional media advertising in the wake of Apple’s IDFA changes. By leveraging O’Connell’s star power on both cable and streaming platforms, SciPlay was able to increase downloads by 121% MoM for the already fast-growing Quick Hits Slots, which has had the most U.S. iOS downloads of any SciPlay app so far in 2023.
Choosing the Right Celebrity
SciPlay worked with advertising agency Rain the Growth for this campaign. To determine which celebrity was the best fit, Rain the Growth cross-referenced YouGov consumer data with indexes of consumer preferences and sentiments regarding celebrities.
The chosen celebrity, Jerry O’Connell, is a 49-year-old actor and TV host who rose to popularity in the 80s and 90s for his roles in Stand By Me, Sliders, and My Secret Identity. O’Connell has also recently been a host on The Talk, Fox’s Pictionary, and The Real Love Boat. The combination of iconic roles and current relevance makes O’Connell an appealing spokesperson for mature audiences (image).
Traditional TV vs. Streaming
Although streaming services offer better targeting and data, traditional TV is still an excellent platform for targeting older demographics.
Streaming ad buyers can target consumers based on precise geolocations, time of day/week, gender, age, purchase/viewing history, and other factors not possible with traditional TV. And the relatively lower cost of streaming ads and lower minimum ad spend allow buyers to explore new strategies with less risk.
Streaming also offers better data about ad performance than traditional TV, including how many people saw the ads and how many watched to the end. Some devices can even track conversion rates. This data allows campaign managers to optimize ad spend toward the most effective channels.
Internet-connected TVs, commonly referred to as connected TVs (CTVs), are becoming more popular and expanding the streaming market to capture demographics traditionally dominated by TV (image). According to Leichtman Research Group, 87% of U.S. TV households have at least one CTV, and 46% of adults with a TV watch video on a CTV daily.
There’s a misconception that older generations don’t watch streaming services, but recent data indicates that’s no longer the case. According to Neilsen, 39% of streaming watch time was by people 50 and older as of May 2022. And according to CordCutting, 56% of Gen X and 50% of Boomers watch streaming services and don’t have cable.
TV ads also remain a strong option for targeting demographics 45 and older. Viewers of linear television ads (i.e., not streaming or other platforms) have an average age of 55, and 84% of viewership is over the age of 35. As a result, TV ads are a good strategy for games targeting older demographics because of TV’s reach.
Research has shown that TV ads elicit a stronger emotional response than YouTube ads and can also boost the effectiveness of digital campaigns. According to a study by Effectv, viewers spent 3X more time with ads, had 2X better brand recall, and had a 15% lift in purchase intent when ads aired on TV and digital rather than digital alone. The boost was especially effective for brands that consumers hadn’t heard of before.
In the 30-day period the ads ran (1/19/23–2/17/23), Quick Hits Slots downloads grew by a staggering 121%MoM.This is especially impressive for an app that was already averaging 57K downloads per month.
Part of a Broader Strategy
In response to Apple’s new IDFA rules, SciPlay altered the way they market and launch games. In a recent interview, SciPlay CEO Josh Wilson said they’ve invested more in their app store optimization, growth, and AdTech teams.
Celebrity partnerships are a big part of this new strategy. In 2022, SciPlay launched a Quick Hits promotion with a grand prize of $5,000 plus a virtual appearance on The Wendy Williams Show. SciPlay also sponsored NASCAR’s Kaulig Racing team for the second year in a row with their app Gold Fish Slots.
SciPlay’s most extensive partnership in 2022 was with actor and America’s Got Talent host Sofia Vergara. The summer-long campaign started with the release of fake behind-the-scenes footage of Vergara getting “caught” playing Jackpot Party on the set of America’s Got Talent. The video was followed with five TV ads on America’s Got Talent, an influencer marketing campaign, and in-game integration with America’s Got Talent.
These celebrity partnerships, in combination with the company’s broader strategy, resulted in an 11% increase in yearly revenue for SciPlay, with an 18% increase in Q4 ‘22 compared to Q3 ‘22. Their highest-grossing app, Jackpot Party, achieved an 8% YoY increase in revenue on iOS, making it the second-highest grossing casino app of 2022.
Quick Hits achieved a 74% YoY increase in downloads and a 17% YoY increase in iOS U.S. revenue, making it the 11th highest-grossing casino app of 2022 and SciPlay’s most downloaded app. Quick Hits has continued to be the most downloaded SciPlay app so far in 2023 on the back of the Jerry O’Connell campaign.