Sydney’s The Star has today launched its new multi-channel campaign “Are you in?” as it fully reopens and lets people know it is ready to welcome them back in a fun but safe environment.
“Are you in?” was designed by Star’s in-house creative team to provide light entertainment and positivity as Sydney and Queensland come out of hibernation. To make up for lost time, The Star wants to celebrate the memories yet to be made and encourage guests to get back out and have fun after months of social restrictions.
George Hughes (main photo), CMO at The Star, has said of the brand creative: “The key insight from our research that informed this campaign is that customers want entertainment – they want fun, positive, uplifting content that’s different to what they’ve seen over the last few months. Tonally, it’s right for our business and this moment. We’re an entertainment business first and foremost and so if the ads are not entertaining it’s not true to our brand.”
In a pre-COVID world, The Star’s channel strategy leaned heavily on owned channels but the shift in audiences’ consumption patterns has totally shaken this approach up. Through its large email, SMS and direct mail database alongside high footfall on property, The Star had previously relied on these channels to communicate to guests about the events and offers happening across all three venues.
Hughes added: “Now that we’ve been closed for three months guests haven’t been able to experience that venue-based advertising. This has meant that we’ve had to do a lot more media buys to reach our audience. It’s a departure from what we’d normally do – but absolutely necessary given the conditions.”
The Star has also mixed up its typical weighting of comms from an earned, owned, bought approach by leaning towards bought first for this campaign. The media buy also reflects current times with greater focus on radio, streaming services and TV as consumption of these channels has increased since the pandemic hit. The change of travel both locally, with people travelling to the city far less, and from overseas has also played a large factor in shaping the campaign creative and strategy.
Hughes continued: “For the foreseeable future we will not have any inbound tourist opportunity but what we will see is pent up demand in our local environment so we’re expecting a lift in tourism in domestic market and this campaign is also about making the most of that.”
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