CAMPAIGNS: Herald helps widen appeal of Gala bingo - Consumer PR

Client: Gala Bingo

Campaign: Making bingo cool

PRTeam: Herald Communications

Timescale: May 2000 - Dec 2000

Budget: £50,000-plus

Herald Communications' Gala campaign earned account executive Imogen

Carter an award in the PRCA Frontline Best Consumer Campaign


Research undertaken by Wardle McLean for Gala Bingo in June 1999

concluded that Bingo is so much a part of British culture that there

would be substantial resistance to an image-change. However, Herald's

brief from Gala was to make bingo 'cool'.


To attract a younger audience without alienating regular players

Strategy and Plan

Targeting key opinion-leaders such as Spectator editor Boris Johnson,

student media, and the national and regional press, Herald produced a

bingo trivia sheet and generated news hooks on subjects such as luckiest

bingo names.

Journalists were offered infotainment trips to bingo halls, and

activities were supplemented by a website - -

offering a virtual tour of the club and a game of digital bingo.

A sponsorship deal between Gala and last year's Bingo-themed film,

House!, was established and the stars appeared at a Gala Bingo club in

south London.

Gala clubs were subsequently pitched as hot-spots for TV series, fashion

shoots and vox pop locations.

Measurement and Evaluation

The Guardian acclaimed bingo as the 'new clubbing', the Evening

Standard's ES magazine declared it 'hip' and New Woman advised readers

to 'forget the Met bar' and head 'down the bingo' instead. Eight hundred

and twenty-two articles appeared in regional press and the inside of a

Gala club made it onto Trigger Happy TV.


Since launch there has been a 73 per cent increase in new members aged

under 35.

'The campaign changed the tide of public opinion,' says Sarah Mercer,

Gala Group communications manager.

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