What really is my theme?


Dormant account
Nov 18, 2005
Cape Town, South Africa
If you were building a website which appealed to gamblers, how would you represent it regarding your theme?

This is an interesting question and I am sure will generate many different answers. Here is mine...

What do all gamblers relate too? They relate to images of casino elements like Dice, Roulette wheels, slot machines, cards and so on. Without thinking they will know what those pictures represent, they will explain so many words in a single image. They will appeal to the broadest senses of the gaming market. Male, female, German, English even Japanese people will know what these symbols represent.

Now this is where I fail to understand why some casinos have represented themselves in way of a niche theme. Let me pick a fictitious example. Let me say I like fast cars and I start a new online casino. I love F1 so I call myself FORMULA 1 Casino. Immediately I cut out most of my female audience and other who have no interest in fast cars. I run my banner and print ads displaying pictures of Formula 1 cars and my logo says Formula 1 in big. Immediately my imagery and logo confuses my potential audience of the offering and they think it is an F1 ad and has nothing to do with casinos.

Many theme sites get so tangled in their display of theme imagery that they forget what their product is and the user does not know what the site is actually offering. There are casino sites that have not got one image of a casino element in their design. That is crazy because the PRODUCT IS A CASINO! Not a race track or a racing game.

These days people do not read the small print, they find it hard to see through the everyday ad clutter and today images represent the value of your product and offering. Remember, if you are marketing a casino, let the potential player know it is one. I have seen way too many marketing failures due to the theme or the dream that has nothing to do with casinos.

There are many brands online which are theme specific and try mimicking the offline brands like casinos in Las Vegas have done, but the successful casinos strike a balance between appealing to your dreams and your senses in a way that makes you know you are in a casino.

I want to be charmed by an Egyptian fantasy and enticed by magnificent grandeur but at the end of the day my biggest dream is to win the JACKPOT!

What are your thoughts?

I tend to agree that online casinos need some sort of imagery to relate to being a casino from a usability standpoint, but the problem is there are 2000 other sites to compete with that all have casino imagery as well.

My suspicion is that people are looking for niche markets to promote themselves in. Does anyone search for Formula 1 related casinos? I can't imagine many people do, but you can't fault someone for trying to be different. That said, it doesn't seem like a very sound strategy.

Another possibility is this...if you are new to this industry and trying to think about how your brand should be represented. One of the first things you might think of is Vegas and how those casinos market themselves. When you see ads for the Mirage, Caesars, Belagio, Venetian, Paris, MGM Grand, Luxor, New York New York or Mandalay Bay, there isn't much to do with gambling. They are promoting their pools, entertainment, restaurants, shopping, etc. The parallel online is to try something similar, the problem is that online, people have different needs. Primarily they are looking for instant gambling action and aren't interested in taking time out to learn more about acient Egypt or walk the faux streets of New York. It's the difference between a destination and an activity, and I think many webmasters mistakenly think that their casino is a destination, when in fact it is activity based.
Two excellent posts. Casinos that steer away from the typical Vegas theme show (to me) more originality and attention to detail. Take for instance Maple and 32Red - they are well branded and have a very good motif in use

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