IGT Italy’s new add-on draw-game ‘EXTRA’ enjoyed a “successful” first month after its launch, despite the country’s pandemic-related restrictions and strict advertising laws.
Direct advertising to players is banned in Italy and competition with other forms of gaming entertainment is “extremely high”.
However, the EXTRA add-on, which gives players’ numbers a second chance to win, was launched via IGT Italy’s daily draw game MillionDAY on March 16, and its first month saw a 23% increase in sales over the pre-launch while it was played at 97% of the retail locations.
A key factor in these “extraordinary results” was the new draw time of 8:30 PM. This change proved “highly popular” with players, with the total number of wagers being placed three times higher than the number that were placed in the pre-launch week when the draw time was still 7:00 PM.
Research and awareness have been cited as two reasons for the game’s successful first month.
The IGT Italy Market Research & Insights group initiated some specific research to gather player feedback on the original MillionDAY base game, launched in 2018, in order to identify the positives and negatives of the experience, and how to enhance it.
With the national advertising ban in place since 2018, the group had to draw on its “extensive” B2C marketing experience to devise specific player communications for physical and digital touchpoints.
They redesigned the main playslip to call players’ attention to the later daily draw time of 8:30 PM, highlight the new availability of the EXTRA add-on game, and convey the rules and cost.
IGT’s marketing team designed and tested special interactive posters for distribution to 4,000 retail locations, featuring QR codes for the retailer to scan when a player presents a ticket for purchase.
IGT Italy also designed an informational motion-graphic leaflet as well as teaser shows for the point-of-purchase monitors, 10eLotto monitors, the My Lotteries mobile app, and the Lotto Italia website.
According to Matteo Wingfield, IGT Italy Store Improvement and Communications Specialist, there was also a carefully paced schedule of B2C outreach, including focused emails, video training and dedicated web pages with related news, FAQs, and a guide for sellers.
The various communications earned a high open-rate of 83%, five points above the average, while there were two full-page print advertisements created for the retailer trade magazine La Voce del Tabaccaio.