I found a very interesting website today, that is promoting what I think is a highly novel concept: showing advertisements on the screens of idle slot machines. It’s a perfect use of technology. After 60 seconds of inactivity, the slot machine or video poker machine switches to “advertising mode”, where the screen shows a 15 second silent commercial, then 30 seconds of the game interface, then another 15 second silent commercial, in an endless loop. When a customer touches the screen of the game, the advertising stops and normal gameplay resumes. Only when the customer has left the machine and its been idle for 60 seconds will the advertising loop begin again.
The adverts in each sequence may be the same or different, depending on what has been loaded on to the advertising server by the casino. And the advertisements can also be served by time – so for example, at 8am-10am the advertising might be for the casino’s own breakfast buffet, but from 5pm-8pm it could advertise their headliner show. During the day it might show details of slot promotions and lucky draws. The advertising could be for any manufacturer or retailer too – so this is a VERY powerful concept. Imagine a whole bank of 100 slot machines all showing an advert for Coca Cola for example. Very immersive for the audience walking by at that time!
The advertising opportunity can be further enhanced by involving the Ticket-In-Ticket-Out printer found on some slot machines. In this instance, a user could press a coupon shown on the screen during the advertising, and then redeem the coupon in the casino: e.g. a 2 for 1 Coors Beer, or whatever product the advertising is currently promoting. So if it’s a slow night in the theatre, and it’s an hour before the show, patrons could print a voucher for half price tickets for tonight’s show – redeem at box office. If this side of the idle slot machine advertising takes off I think we’ll see a LOT of promotions from the casinos themselves done this way. “Not a players club member? Take this coupon to the Players Club and join up, and we’ll give you $10 Free Slot Play – but only with this coupon!”. This could be VERY GOOD for players looking for value.
Like nearly all good casino technologies, this technology has been launched in America first – at the Palms Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. I expect over time this will move into Europe and then Australasia – obviously subject to jurisdiction licensing. This is one of the coolest gaming innovations I’ve seen so far this year. You can read more about the technology at Reel TV.