You don’t hear this story everyday and most important, you don’t hear about April’s fools jokes on such level. Well, the guys at Lindar Media, who operate a couple of popular bingo affiliate sites such as onlinebingo.co.uk and twolittlefleas.co.uk, as well as actual bingo brands: circusbingo.com and pixiebingo.com, did it. They have managed to fool the top online bingo affiliates with the launch of a new bingo model called Square Bingo.
The story of the new brand’s launch is incredible and even managed to be quoted and mentioned by many. The games played and Imitation Game and managed to pull it off.
Below you can find the details of this prank and the outcome of it:
WHAT SQUARE BALLS SAY ABOUT THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO
After weeks of anticipation, Square Bingo finally launched on April 1, 2016. Except it didn’t.
Square Bingo was actually an April Fool’s Day experiment created by Lindar Media (that’s us) to gauge how the online bingo industry would react to a new, unknown and untested brand.
With just a few social media posts and a simple ‘Coming Soon’ page to the Square Bingo name, we were able to create a small but meaningful buzz among the country’s leading bingo affiliate sites.
But what does that tell us? Did a fictitious site shed light on some of the key issues affecting online bingo in 2016, and what did we learn about its treatment of the players that fund it?
THE IMITATION GAME
According to recent statistics from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), bingo sites had a Gross Gambling Yield (earnings retained by the operator after winnings had been paid) of £82m between November 2014 and March 2015. With such great rewards available, it is really any surprise that new bingo sites are launched on a monthly basis?
Well, we say new, but the majority of bingo sites are simply re-skins of older designs, intended to funnel players from one site to another with the promise of bigger bonuses and ‘original’ themes.
We operate a selection of networked sites ourselves and are also guilty of falling into this rinse and repeat cycle. But starting with the launch of Circus Bingo last July, and continuing with Pixie Bingo and Wild Spins, we are now trying hard to put our own unique mark on network software through the creation of distinguishable brands.
While Circus and Pixie are admittedly similar to each other, they are together much different from the 170+ other Dragonfish products – a trait that has been widely acknowledged by the industry:
“…to be fair they have tried to make it different and it looks totally different to anything else on this tried and tested network.” – Circus Bingo review, WhichBingo.co.uk
“…the site uses Dragonfish software but there is no way that we would be able to tell by looking at it. The new site uses a completely new template, and we have to say the site looks fantastic.” – Circus Bingo review, Bingoport.co.uk
“Circus Bingo is a Dragonfish network bingo site but is about as far from a standard Dragonfish skin as you could possibly imagine. The design of this circus and nuts themed site is absolutely stunning…” – BestNewBingoSites.co.uk
There’s plenty of room for operators to be adventurous if they want to be. Are players really crying out for another Welcome Bingo? We don’t think so.
Small steps, not giant leaps
PlayTech’s bingo variants and Tombola’s proprietary software aside, it has been years since an operator has offered a truly original approach, leading to genuine excitement when something slightly different arrives on the scene.
As a precursor to Square Bingo, PlayTech’s newest game, Cash Cubes, highlighted how even relatively simple changes continue to be celebrated as groundbreaking when it launched in March.
Then in April we saw 888Ladies launch playing card based, Flash Fives. Both of these games are essentially still bingo at their core; replacing the standard bingo card with a different object and speeding things up a bit.
How many more times will this concept be copied?
A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE
Probably the biggest surprise about Square Bingo was that the domain wasn’t already taken.
After all, the formula for dreaming up a bingo site name is fairly simple:
1. Think of any everyday object, event, location, shape, colour… anything
2. Add ‘Bingo’ to the end of it
Square Bingo was no different. We deliberately chose it to be as plain and uninspiring as possible. Other names on the shortlist included Ironing Bingo, Paint Drying Bingo, Car Park Bingo and Grey Bingo.
Despite the boring name (Boring Bingo, anyone?), and with little to show besides the suggestion of more angular balls, journalists and affiliates began to take notice…
Making Square Bingo look real was actually quite easy. As well as the compulsory ‘Coming Soon’ page, we used a selection of channels to actively build community excitement. Here’s a breakdown:
- Set up Facebook & Twitter profiles for Square Bingo (5 mins)
- Posted one Tweet per day – usually including a square-based pun (30 secs per day)
- Followed every bingo affiliate account we could find (5 mins)
- Retweeted the occasional piece of bingo news (10 secs)
- Set up a basic coming soon page (1.5 hours)
Our marketing even received compliments:
“This new site has a brilliant marketing scheme by keeping us all in the dark while at the same time giving us just a tiny bit of information to keep us coming back for more.
“According to the site… it’s going to completely change the online bingo world” really? Seriously, talking about dangling a carrot in front of us and then pulling it away!” – latestbingobonuses.com
Truth is, it probably totaled less than two hours work. Compare that to a real bingo brand in the weeks before its launch:
No history? No problem.
Thanks to our rather basic promotional strategy, we were offered affiliate and advertising deals for Square Bingo in March. Sites were willing to promote an unknown bingo brand with almost no confirmed information about the site.
Remember, Square Bingo was to run on a completely new platform (Shapesoft) and be operated by a company that even Google had no record of (CBWFL Media). Would there have been quality checks before our campaigns went live to safeguard players or was their experience being overlooked by the hundreds of affiliate sites desperate to cash-in on their deposits? It would certainly seem so.
World First Features
We updated Square Bingo on the first of April to include a list of (fake) world-first features, including the much-predicted square bingo balls, a spin the square bonus game and an exclusive partnership with a famous London landmark.
We sent a version of this press release to hundreds of people in the bingo industry, published news on OnlineBingo.co.uk and Two Little Fleas, and updated the Square Bingo social profiles. We were fortunate that our work in the lead up to 1st April kept people invested in the launch and allowed the scenario to play out in full. The whole thing could have immediately been called out as a joke, so why wasn’t it? We put this down to two reasons:
1. People were actually excited about the unlikely ‘innovation’ of square bingo balls
2. Affiliates didn’t want to harm their chances of doing a deal with us should the site not be fake – our players are worth money, after all
Sticking to the traditions of April Fool’s Day, we finally revealed the truth about Square Bingo at 12 noon.
Our reveal included a message to affiliates and an exclusive Circus Bingo deposit code, designed to appease any players who felt robbed of a new site. Then, something strange happened: coverage of Square Bingo began to disappear.
We were accused of everything from having ‘more time on our hands than we know what to do with’, to conducting a ‘publicity stunt to get new players though the virtual doors of the site’.
These were the same people who just hours earlier were outwardly expressing their excitement for the features being teased.
We were disappointed (but not surprised) that the exclusive Circus Bingo offer was ignored, despite it being live for a significant part of the day.
Many of our affiliates were informed of the promotion, but not one updated their site to let their players know. Surely if sites were truly offering the best deals for players, they would have actually told them about it? Apparently not.
People simply turned their backs on Square Bingo because it was no longer a way to make money.
THE FUTURE OF ONLINE BINGO
Square Bingo has reaffirmed our two major predictions for the future of online bingo:
1. The replication of tired experiences will lead to sites failing to build sustainable brands and loyal audiences.
2. Players will eventually resent being funneled between identical sites and flock to those with truly exceptional features, putting smaller sites at significant risk of closure.
We don’t know when the bubble will burst, but it’s surely only a matter of time, especially given ever-tightening rules and regulations.
UK Chancellor, George Osborne, recently unveiled plans to extend the General Betting Duty which would see operators paying tax on free bets like no deposit bonuses.
While the plans are still to be confirmed, they have the potential to immediately cut the profits of operators, leading to the possible abolition of bonuses altogether – one of the key differentiators between bingo sites in the current environment.
Some sites are already receiving negative feedback from disgruntled players over hefty wagering requirements; how long before they start rejecting them completely? What will attract players to a new site if there is no monetary incentive? This is the question that operators will need to answer.
The influence of affiliate deals on reviews
Affiliates are also responsible for driving the industry forward, but very few bingo portals offer genuinely honest and trustworthy reviews of bingo sites.
Reviews are instead based on the deals negotiated between sites and brands, leaving players without the insights they need to make informed decisions and making the ratings effectively worthless.
hat incentives are there for operators to create a new site of real value when its ultimate quality is determined by affiliate deals and welcome bonuses? Will we only see a rush of new ideas before the general betting duty is extended or will more forward-thinking operators step up earlier?
If the bonus culture was suddenly stopped, operators and networks would be forced to condense their portfolios and refocus on just a handful of sites.
Building new sites and moving players around comes at a hefty cost, so it makes sense to offer fewer higher quality sites and build a database of genuinely loyal players.
Who will take the first step and revolutionize the online bingo scene?
A BETTER DEAL FOR PLAYERS
The reaction to Square Bingo and its world first bingo balls highlights just how desperate the industry is for change.
We believe that it’s possible for operators and affiliates to provide a better and more rewarding experience for players in a way that remains profitable.
We’ve seen huge progress in the industry’s approach to responsible gambling in recent years. That same ideology and determination should be applied here too.
If we offer better – and expect better – we could all create an industry that is truly fun, fair and exciting for everybody.
It’s time to start thinking outside the box.
The article has been embedded from the following link: https://onlinebingo.co.uk/news/why-we-created-square-bingo
We have to stay it is a wonderful story and yet something to learn from in your are in the online bingo affiliate industry and why not the casino or sports betting. Imagine if there would have been bad intentions behind this prank….
PartnerMatrix inks new affiliate channel deal with AdmiralBet
PartnerMatrix is proud to announce a new partnership with the established Serbian sports betting and casino platform, AdmiralBet.
Together with PartnerMatrix, AdmiralBet has launched its secure and modern affiliate channel, allowing partners and affiliates to raise the brand’s awareness by showcasing its products to a broader audience and engaging relevant traffic.
AdmiralBet is famous for its rich and modern gaming platform, gaining popularity in the Serbian market with its cutting-edge online sports betting offers. The brand also covers casino verticals while keeping clients active with numerous interesting bonuses and tournaments.
Levon Nikoghosyan, CEO of PartnerMatrix, comments: “Thanks to this agreement, PartnerMatrix is not only partnering with an established and respected brand but also entering the Serbian market, which already has a developed and legislated gaming market. With our latest features and system updates, we are looking forward to a productive cooperation with AdmiralBet’s team.
“AdmiralBet is well-known for its dynamic and modern sports betting solutions, and with the help of PartnerMatrix, I believe the company will create a more efficient traffic generating strategy, greatly expanding their audience.”
Milan Djurmez, Head of Online Gaming at AdmiralBet, adds: “Affiliate Marketing is a new channel for us, but one that we reckon is an absolute necessity for enhancing our outreach. PartnerMatrix seemed to be the software that fit our needs the best and ticked all the boxes. We’re all-in with this, and I’m sure that the results will be worthy of all efforts and investments.“
QUANTUM GAMING AND MYAFFILIATES HAVE ESTABLISHED A LANDMARK PARTNERSHIP
We are ecstatic to start cooperating with MyAffiliates, the top-of-the-line affiliate tracking software platform.
Founded in 2007 by a group of devotees, MyAffiliates quickly rose to prominence for its superior flexibility, impeccable support, complete transparency, and absolute reliability. As a dedicated online gambling affiliate tracking platform, MyAffiliates proudly stands on the throne when it comes to managing affiliate programs and streamlining sales activities.
Its super-efficient features – affiliate, customer, and media management, advanced reporting, and commission plans – empower operators to raise brand awareness, increase traffic and profits, expand their customer base, and keep all affiliate marketing activities at the highest possible level of quality. All features are incredibly flexible, customizable, and scalable, designed to meet all business needs and keep pace with casino growth.
All things considered, it’s no surprise that the MyAffiliates marketing solution is experiencing such crazy-big success, attracting, like a magnet, hundreds of casino providers and powering some of the largest online affiliate programs.
“The MyAffiliates team constantly goes the extra mile regarding product innovation. The platform isn’t just client-oriented but also solution-oriented, forming a powerful combination of business support and software functionalities that puts it in a superior position compared to other affiliate software providers. We are thrilled to have partnered up with such dedicated professionals.”, commented Oliver de Bono, Quantum Gaming CEO.
“MyAffiliates is very excited to be one of the very first partners of Quantum Gaming following their recent launch. We really look forward to providing them with our software in order to be part of their growth and success.” – added Clemence Dujardin, Managing Director.
TrafficGuard partners with leading online gaming affiliate tracking platform RavenTrack
Leading digital ad verification and fraud prevention platform, TrafficGuard, today announced a partnership with online gaming affiliate tracking RavenTrack aimed at helping brands and advertisers to maximise their returns on ad spend on their affiliate marketing with invalid traffic and ad fraud prevention.
The global pandemic has undoubtedly caused a massive increase in the number of active users that indulge in sports betting regularly. A global statistic from Casino.org suggests that almost 26% of the world’s population bets, and the global market is expected to grow from $76.79 billion to an impressive $127.45 billion by 2025, according to Research and Markets.
Affiliate marketing is a crucial strategy employed by these gaming and sports betting companies, for faster, quicker customer acquisition. However the level of financial and competitor growth within the industry has created a strong attraction from fraudsters, and companies can fall prey with little to no knowledge this is even occurring. And, with the betting industry only saturating further, companies cannot afford to suffer from low ROI and poor campaign performance. Through TrafficGuard’s Affiliate Protection service, brands and marketers can combat and prevent misattribution in common types of invalid traffic (IVT) such as cookie stuffing, domain spoofing, anonymised traffic and compliance fraud present in online gaming today.
TrafficGuard’s full-funnel, multipoint solution measures the end-users engagement, intent and propensity to convert to give the most transparent view of their advertising activity enabling the best possible return on ad spend. The product also offers customised filters so advertisers can ensure that their affiliate partners are only being rewarded for the activity that is permitted by their terms and conditions.
“This online gaming and gambling industry got a huge boost in the pandemic, but bad actors also joined in the fray quite actively. At TrafficGuard we are passionate about protecting the erosion of marketing spending and recognised that the damage done to businesses due to these malicious activities is enormous. Through our Affiliate Prevention and integration into RavenTrack, we want to enable the brands and advertisers using their market-leading software to get their optimised and accurate ROAS with the right data, at the right time. With our full-funnel protection and expert product channel team, affiliate platforms like RavenTrack can deliver positive business outcomes through their customers.” says Matt Sutton, CRO of TrafficGuard.
Adam Rowley, Managing Director (RavenTrack) commented, “We understand the value of accurate tracking where every minute movement in each measuring metric matters. Our clients already reap the rewards of our fraud prevention tracking, and the partnership between RavenTrack and TrafficGuard will see our customers benefit from TrafficGuard’s premier expertise across ad networks, especially supporting customers in the global gaming and sports betting arenas, thereby helping us further our mission of ensuring the best possible performance for our customers.“
To support, grow and enable the success of this channel, TrafficGuard will deploy a structured team of affiliate experts helmed by Kalen Bushe, VP of Affiliate Partnerships.
Riding on the success and wins of major clients such as Disney Streaming Services, the integration with RavenTrack also marks the company’s second major announcement in recent weeks, having previously unveiled TrafficGuard Social – a solution that offers complete ad fraud prevention and protection on Facebook. Come 2023, TrafficGuard will roll out social capabilities for self-serve SMB users whilst expanding its offering to TikTok, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in response to rising client demand.
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