The Star reopens with a wave of cheeky advertising

Chris Pash
By Chris Pash | 2 July 2020

The Star Entertainment Group has reopened its hotels and casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast with an advertising campaign -- “Are you in?” -- created by its in-house agency.

The campaign is pitched on the cheeky side, designed for light entertainment and plays directly into The Star’s tone of voice and as an entertainment business.

The Star Group is digging into pent-up demand for a good time and entertainment as people emerge from a pandemic-enforced lockdown.

The media buy, through Iikon, has greater focus on radio, streaming services and TV -- all channels which have seen consumption lift during the coronavirus crisis.

“Fun is back in town,” says Star Group CMO George Hughes. “Everyone is welcome to come back out from hibernation.

“The campaign is to let Sydney and Queensland know that The Star is reopening and we're back in business.”

Hughes told AdNews there's no better time to launch a campaign when there's clearly a pent up demand to get out, in a  safe way, and have a good time. 

“It's about time that we have some positive and optimistic advertising out there," he says.

“I'm a firm believer that brands have to be brave, they have to be bold. Now's the time ready for us to build a brand.

“We're going to remind people what we stand for, give them a reason to come and visit, have some fun and shake off those, COVID cobwebs."

Pre pandemic the Star in Sydney would have 40,000 to 50,000 people on a Saturday night.

Over the last three and a half months, The Star has had to stand down 95% of its staff, about 8,500 people.

Hughes described that as brutal. 

"We've never been in a situation like this," he says.

the star campaigns

“This is really big, exciting and a great moment for our team and for our customers.

“We've been really proactive with our staff training, and all of those people returning to work, so receive return to work briefings, which encompass COVID-safe measures.

"If people haven't been in your venue for three and a half months, then you have to find another way to be able to get to that audience in an efficient manner and then obviously to try and gain some cut through in the media landscape.

“The campaign itself is cheeky, somewhat playful, and it really builds on the creative brand platform that we've had in place for a while, which is: Are you in?"

On the media buy, Hughes notes a shift in content consumption, a change in how people have consumed in media over the last couple of months.

"At home has obviously taken a bit of a hit, people aren't coming into the city, but there's an uplift in radio consumption, streaming and TV," he says.

"So we've, re-engineered with the help of our wonderful friends at Ikon for a really effective and efficient media buy.

"There's an opportunity fo efficient buy and impact in the current environment for brands that are bold. We've managed to get some really good media placements, some good buys.

"This requires very careful consideration of your consumption patterns, comms strategy and the appropriate channel mixes.

"We've had to change our model around but having in house agency has meant that that wasn't such a logistical challenge as it might be for some other organisations."

The impact of the pandemic has made measurement of return from media spend simpler.

"That's changed the game to a zero based approach to measurement," says Hughes. 

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