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Code and Theory launched Tipico's digital campaign in just six weeks. Here's how

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By The Drum | Editorial

November 30, 2023 | 4 min read

In the AI or Machine Learning category, Code and Theory worked with Tipico gaming to launch their new website in just six weeks. Here is how they did it in their award-winning case study.

Example of the award-winning digital work

Example of the award-winning digital work

The doors to online sports betting were about to open in one of the deep states of idiosyncratic fandom — Ohio. Could we break through the line of legacy American sportsbook brands and secure Europe-based newcomer Tipico a seat in the top five? Could we do it in six weeks? How about six weeks AND a small budget while the major industry names opened a fire hydrant of cash — and pitted us against beloved characters like Jesse Pinkman and Leon Black from Curb Your Enthusiasm?

We knew there was no way to outspend the big dogs, like Caesars, BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings. We strategized a moneyball approach to creating a campaign that could put Tipico in the hearts, minds, and hands of Ohio sports bettors.

To ‘Win Ohio,’ as the brief stated, we knew we had to make Tipico the Cinderella story of Q1. We scoured Reddit forums, Ohio meme Instagram accounts, Facebook posts, Twitter threads, and more to get a taste for the rhythm, language, dreams, and nemeses of the Ohio sports bettor. We took it a step further by tapping into LLMs using ChatGPT for persona development, a process that would often take weeks and took us less than 48 hours. We created a living persona using first-party app data, our own tools, desk research and audience interviews, which effectively trained ChatGPT on four personas that we could now have conversations with.

From that crash course on the Buckeye State, came “Bet Like You’re From Ohio”— a campaign that used a hyperlocal art and copy approach that spoke the unique language of Ohioans.

As residents of a “flyover” state, Ohioans are used to being dismissed as ‘average,’ but we knew our audience was anything but. We knew that to reach them, we needed to be them — and show them we know Ohio fandom. Focusing on the three key cities of Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland, we dove deep on the references, attitude, landmarks, and history that make Ohio one of the most unique places in the world to be a sports fan.

We created a campaign that spoke to Ohioans the same way they speak to each other. Working with multiple agency partners, we activated across our audience’s entire connected ecosystem, including digital, social, and traditional media along with the app itself. Our continual optimization of the campaign ensured that we were laser-focused on the places and platforms Ohio sports bettors spent their time and allowed us to extend creative into those platforms (i.e., Snapchat and Instagram Stories).

Beyond the media plan, we activated the campaign within Tipico’s partnership with MLS’s Columbus Crew. Deploying OOH and in-stadium screens during key season games at home, we firmly rooted the brand in the landmarks that mean the most to local fans. Numbers don’t lie:

The campaign’s Ohio-focused launch reached 57% of its 2023 acquisition target and it soared to claim 32% share of voice in the Ohio market.

Tipico instantly became a top-five betting site in the state.

Tipico locked in 40K registrations in Ohio in its first month

For NFL Playoff weekend, Tipico soared to all-time highs: Highest single-day FTDs (first-time deposits), Highest-ever unique activity (active players), Highest-ever handle (total bets), They earned more on Sunday gameday than they do in New Jersey in a month.

The social campaign was recently shortlisted by New York Festivals Advertising Awards.

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