The marketing war between some of the largest casinos in Connecticut and Massachusetts has heated up over bragging rights.
At the time when the $960-million casino and entertainment complex MGM Springfield started operation with a lavish Main Street parade, the venue’s owners used the old but gold marketing brag “This is a first”. However, only a few weeks later, one of the two casino behemoths in Connecticut – the Mohegan Sun – launched a campaign, using the tagline “This is first” to emphasize on its two-decade-long presence in the region of New England.
The two competitive campaigns only came to highlight exactly how seriously the rivals take the stakes in a region where the casino industry is getting ruthless with more venues rolled out. Connecticut’s other large casino venue operated by another Native American tribal nation, the Foxwoods Resort Casino, has also been involved in the fierce competition.
In fact, the president and general manager of the Mohegan Sun, Ray Pineault, explained that the casino had never intended to directly respond to MGM Springfield as it preferred to wait and see what the figures would be after at least a six-month period. However, Mohegan Sun found it annoying that MGM even suggested that they were somehow first in New England. And so, the marketing war began.
Mohegan Sun Responds to MGM Marketing Campaign
The broadcast campaign of the Mohegan Sun was aimed at highlighting the venue’s 22-year presence in the region. Mr. Pineault preferred not to reveal the operator’s spending on the advertisement but explained that it was part of the larger “Full of Life” campaign of the company which is seeking to popularize Mohegan as a place of entertainment, shopping, dining, as well as hotel and spa options.
MGM, on the other hand, denied that it was trying to steal the credit of its competitors for being present longer than its new Springfield property. It explained that its marketing campaign was simply aimed to highlight that Springfield was a city of “firsts”. The President of MGM Springfield, Michael Mathis, shared that the company launched “This is a First” multi-media brand campaign to give people a peek into the gaming and entertainment experiences they could expect when they go to the venue.
Mr. Mathis further described the Mohegan Sun’s advertising response as an “imitation”.
According to marketing experts, campaigns using a single word (such as “first” in this case), are not easy to deal with. According to the marketing professor Debanjan Mitra, it was MGM Springfield that came up with the word “first”, so there is much greater chance for customers who see all the ads to actually remember MGM.
Foxwods Resort Casino’s Response
Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is the other casino behemoth in the region, has been so far using another strategy. It preferred not to directly respond to MGM Springfield’s campaign but has been using the chance to direct the spotlight to other aspects of its offering, so that it stands out as a more diverse entertainment destination.
For the time being, the most recent marketing campaign of the casino highlights various outdoor attractions. It also uses “the wonder of it all” tagline which was previously used with a great success and became synonymous with gambling and Foxwoods.
The chief marketing officer of the venue, Suzanne Trout, explained that the grand strategy of the operator had been to establish an integrated destination resort in the region, which was exactly the focus of the campaign.