Gala Bingo hits the jackpot with The Chase


Key Points

  • Gala Bingo wanted to drive brand loyalty and long-term growth in a competitive market         
  • They found the ideal programme partner in The Chase
  • They achieved a 48% increase in ad awareness in just three weeks

The Challenge

Gala Bingo is one of the nation’s most loved gaming brands. But, in late 2015, Gala Bingo sold their physical bingo halls and could no longer rely on an omnichannel approach to bring customers to their online offering. The online Bingo gaming market is a difficult market to operate in, partly because it is highly crowded and fiercely competitive but also because it is hard to differentiate. The majority of gaming sites use the same technology stack, meaning you can play the same game across a variety of sites. In addition, most providers using sign up offers to attract a new customer base and as a result, the market suffers from low brand loyalty, with most players subscribing to multiple brands.  Research showed that about half the players are a member of 6 or more sites and 20% are a member of more than 16 sites.

Gala Bingo had some clear goals for 2017:

  • Drive brand loyalty for Gala Bingo and drive long term sustained growth into the player base
  • Develop differentiation for Gala Bingo from key players such as Mecca Bingo, Foxy Bingo and Tombola
  • Drive awareness of their Play Happy messaging

Gala knew that to fulfil these objectives and to achieve growth, they needed to upgrade their approach.

The Solution

Gala’s media agency, the7stars, had recently set up Gala Voice. This was a customer community where Gala Bingo customers can come together to discuss the brand, give feedback and help build insights for future campaigns and brand development. So they turned to this panel to see what types of programmes they love. Gala is an always on TV spender, as it is the most effective media channel for driving customers, so the solution was always going to be TV based.

Analysis of the Gala Voice panel revealed that The Chase and Catchphrase were the most watched shows, but The Chase was by far the favourite. The Chase was available for sponsorship at this time and so they started to believe this was the right route, but they wanted further evidence to be sure. They conducted a bespoke Sky IQ research project, which built a Gala Bingo player viewing audience to assess what programming the players loved most. The study established that Gala Bingo players were 50% more likely to watch The Chase vs all adults.

The7stars knew that TV was essential in order to achieve the long-term results desired and that sponsorship of the right programme would give them a point of difference from their competitors. Also, with a programme like The Chase which was almost always on, it would provide an ongoing opportunity for dialogue with their customers as well as high awareness and reach. The Chase appeared to be a perfect fit.

The Plan

The7stars managed to secure sponsorship of The Chase for Gala Bingo. They worked with ITV to develop an integrated partnership which covered not only the broadcast sponsorship, but also activated licensing rights and access to show talent and set tours.

The idents featured the ‘Chasers’ from the show to drive home the association and add credibility to the partnership with Gala Bingo. In addition, the ‘Chasers’ were included in Gala’s spot ads which drove reach beyond the usual viewers of the show.

To take the partnership even further, they used the branding licence to create The Chase Bingo Game.  The result was a huge success as it became a firm favourite with Gala players as a top 3 game for active players and in the top 10 for revenue.

In the summer, The Chase takes a natural break. However, the7stars wanted to keep the buzz and awareness of The Chase games alive during this period. Therefore, alongside their existing TV campaign, they continued to promote the game using TV Guide and Lifestyle magazines as well as a targeted radio campaign.  This allowed them to maintain a strong active user base over the summer.


  • Gala bingo saw a huge spike in ad awareness when the sponsorship commenced
  • There was a 48% increase in ad awareness in just three weeks amongst their target audience of women C2DE 35+, achieving the highest ad awareness to date
  • TV sponsorship delivered the highest ROI of all channels at 279%
  • TV sponsorship’s impact on DRTV performance was also successful, with ROI increasing 32% YoY
  • Although the primary objective of the sponsorship was to drive awareness and loyalty, there was an unexpected outcome of the sponsorship which meant that the TV spot activity increased efficiency by 54%.

Our sponsorship of The Chase has been a huge success and has helped us to get the key brand messages, play happy and win every day, in front of a relevant and key audience. It’s out performed all expectations and we are proud to continue to sponsor The Chase in 2018.

Karina Adrian Head of Brand Marketing, Gala Bingo


Sector: Online gaming

Brand: Gala Bingo

Campaign objectives: To improve loyalty, drive growth, develop differentiation and increase awareness of the Play Happy messaging

Target Audience: Women C2DE 35+

Campaign Dates: January to December 2017 (taking a break in some of July and all of August).

TV Usage: 10 second sponsorship idents and 20 second ads

Creative Agency: Cravens

Media Agency:  the7stars


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