Monday September 30,2013 :  NEVADA ONLINE POKER OPERATORS RAMP UP THE ADVERTISING
 
WSOP.com and Ultimate Poker vie for market share in a limited arena.
 
The arrival of Caesars' WSOP.com online poker site in the intrastate Nevada online poker market is creating a competitive advertising environment with Fertitta Interactive's Ultimate Poker.com longer-established website, reports the publication Advertising Age.
 
This weekend saw the launch of the Nevada-focused television element of a comprehensive advertising campaign designed by the Californian agency Zambezi.
 
Elements in the campaign include TV, radio, print, digital and out-of-home advertising as well as partnerships with Caesars' land casinos, and emphasise the "whenever, wherever" availability of online play, as well as the unique advantages of playing at online.
 
The AdAge piece contains preview vid clips of the material here: http://adage.com/abstract?article_id=244447.
 
The presentation has a comedic tone, revolving around an ordinary player with exaggerated ‘tells' up against global poker ace Scotty Nguyen in a WSOP tournament, with the premise "Online, I don't need a poker face."
 
Other WSOP.com material takes the double entendre to a risqué level in "How to Play Poker" here:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hkgpRJKDJJQ
 
Caesars Interactive Entertainment is leveraging the high profile World Series of Poker live tournament to boost WSOP.com activity, offering digital players a chance to win their way into the $10,000 main event in Las Vegas, and providing a loyalty facility dubbed Action Club which allows online players to earn points that can be converted into credits for discounted room nights, shows, dining credits and merchandise at Caesars-owned properties.
 
Ultimate Poker is not standing still as the advertising ramps up; in addition to saturating its land casinos with signage, Ultimate Poker's strategy includes significant direct marketing and tapping into Station Casinos' databases, which house contact information for roughly 80 percent of the gamblers in Nevada, said Joe Versaci, chief marketing officer for Ultimate Gaming.
 
Ultimate Poker has a marketing partnership with Ultimate Fighting Championship, whose majority owners, Frank Fertitta and brother Lorenzo Fertitta, also own Station Casinos.
 
Ultimate Poker is also running TV ads using a combination of boutique agencies and in-house resources for the creative, and is now conducting a review for a creative agency, Advertising Age reports.
 
The account is likely to be a substantial one, with the New Jersey online gambling market also in Ultimate Gaming's sights through its partnership with Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort in Atlantic City
 
The Ultimate Poker television ads are a little more serious and focused, emphasising the practical considerations of playing poker on a Nevada regulated website such as reliable deposits and withdrawals and fair, safe software.
 
The advent of legalised online gambling in the United States on a state-by-state basis clearly offers great potential for American advertising and marketing agencies.  With Delaware and New Jersey set to join Nevada later this year, other states  actively considering possibilities in the wings, and a large number of major companies ready to pile in, there are interesting times ahead.