Government-owned bookmaker Tote is using a viral game to promote its exclusive racecourse pool betting service, totepool, with high scores giving players the chance to win a VIP package or free passes to this year’s Royal Ascot event at York, or free bets.
Launched to coincide with this week’s Cheltenham Festival, “Stay The Distance”, a Flash game, lets players control one of six horses, keeping an eye on their mount’s energy levels, jumping the fences and making judicious use of the whip. The longer the odds on a horse, the harder it will be to win, but the more bonus points will be awarded upon race completion.
The campaign will be placed on sites such as TTR2, FHM and Lycos, as well as several e-mail newsletter distribution partners. The game will also be distributed to Tote’s affiliate partners’ databases.
Created by digital content specialists Skive Creative, the game also directs players to a specially created microsite, www.abetterwaytobet.com, which offers a guide to pool betting for newcomers.
Skive has previously developed three other campaigns for Tote, which collectively achieved more than 14 million plays.
Skive managing director Sean Singleton adds that the point of creating the microsite for this campaign was “to more effectively extend Tote’s brand messages and communicate the key benefits of the totepool offering”.
Tote rebranded a year ago (MW March 11, 2004). Totesport is the umbrella brand for its 400 retail outlets, telephone and online gambling divisions, while its exclusive licence for pool betting for UK racecourses comes under the totepool banner. The Government is committed to privatising the business during 2005.