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Winning big with Bing

  Article , Travel , Success stories

Ad extensions produce impressive results for Mohegan Sun

A royal flush

Imagine dancing at a rock concert for a few hours and then sitting down to try your hand at the slots. You tickle your funny bone with one of today’s leading comics one minute, and then tickle your palate the next as you enjoy fine dining or cooking lessons from a celebrity chef. In between, you play a little blackjack, chill at a spa or swim laps in a 10,000-square-foot solarium with an indoor pool. Such are the pleasures expected from southeastern Connecticut. Wait. What?
Mohegan Sun, located in Uncasville, Connecticut in Southern New England is built on a Native American reservation for the Mohegan Tribe. Created in 1996, this world at play is one of the largest gaming operations in the country with 5,100 traditional slot machines and 325 table games. But don’t label the vast complex a casino. The gaming and entertainment mecca offers a whole lot more than that.

Across the 3.1 million square-foot facility, you’ll find retail shopping, more than 30 dining options, award-winning entertainment venues, an 18-hole golf course and approximately 1,600 rooms within a luxury 34-story Sky Tower and 12-story Earth Tower.

The cost per click (CPC) is always much lower, but the traffic is still tier-one traffic from people on their computers, mobile devices and such whose default search engine is Bing.

— Charles Drewyer, Senior Search Analyst, MullenLowe Mediahub Performance

Going back to their roots

The Mohegan Tribe (also known as the Tribe) comes from the earliest clans of the Delaware Tribe. Treaties and laws dating back 350 years identify the Tribe as an independent and sovereign nation that continues to thrive today.
The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority has the exclusive power to conduct and regulate gaming activities on the reservation. In addition to the Connecticut location, it runs the Tribe’s gaming and entertainment facility in Plains Township, Pennsylvania, and several off-track wagering facilities elsewhere in that state.

The odds are in their favor

Table showing results for ads with Image Extensions: 600% increase in click-through rate, 65% lower cost per click, 14% lower cost per action. Data provided to Bing by Mohegan Sun.

Data provided to Bing by Mohegan Sun

Mohegan Sun is a well-known destination in the northeastern part of the U.S. That doesn’t mean the company rests on its laurels. Keeping people nearby informed of entertainment and getaway opportunities takes effort, as does generating interest around the world. For these endeavors, the gaming authority relies heavily on search engine marketing (SEM) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reach and engage its target audiences.
MullenLowe Mediahub Performance, a globally owned digital agency and part of MullenLowe Group, leads the paid search advertising strategy and execution to help support Mohegan Sun’s lofty business goals. A large part of the agency’s strategy concerns collaboration. For example, every year, Mohegan Sun runs a campaign called Full of Life. People at MullenLowe Mediahub Performance work with the creative partners behind the campaign. “We look at the creative and messaging to make sure that our paid search ads match their message,” says Lavall Chichester, Global SVP, Search and Content Marketing Mediahub Performance. “As a result, performance has gone through the roof.”
When it comes to paid search, Mohegan Sun gives MullenLowe Mediahub Performance carte blanche as long as the numbers support the cause. “They know that they hired us as specialists and innovators,” Mr. Chichester says. “We’re very in tune with what they want, which is why we’ve incorporated Bing Ads into their paid search strategy.”

Bing Ads Editor makes it so easy to import campaigns from Google AdWords. It is very seamless transition.

— Charles Drewyer, Senior Search Analyst, MullenLowe MediaHub Performance

Doubling down

Lavall Chichester, head of search, MullenLowe Mediahub Performance

Lavall Chichester, Global SVP, Search and Content Marketing
Mediahub Performance

Charles Drewyer is MullenLowe Mediahub Performance’s PPC lead with Mohegan Sun and the liaison to the Bing Ads team. “I think pound for pound, Bing is the best search engine in terms of the amount of people who use it and the search results it delivers,” said Drewyer. “The cost per click (CPC) is always much lower, but the traffic is still tier-one traffic from people on their computers, mobile devices and such whose default search engine is Bing.”
If that traffic consisted of a random audience, then Drewyer would want volume, such as that found with Google AdWords. Bing Ads, however, caters to a more specific, slightly older and higher income demographic — an audience he finds more likely to want to get away for a weekend or find entertainment. That makes it easier to place relevant and consistent content in front of them, adding a valuable alternative to Google AdWords with higher conversion rates for a lower cost.

CharlesDrewyer, performance PPC lead, MullenLowe Mediahub Performance

Charles Drewyer, performance PPC lead, MullenLowe
Mediahub Performance

Mohegan Sun’s strategy with Bing Ads relies heavily on using ad extensions. For example, when Bing Ads first released Image Extensions, Drewyer got Mohegan Sun on board almost immediately. The idea of using striking visuals has proven priceless. “With all these new opportunities and products, we've seen amazing results,” Drewyer says. “Our click-through rates (CTRs) with ads using Image Extensions are almost 600% higher than the rates for ads without Image Extensions.” Similarly, the CPC is 65% less and the cost per action (CPA) is 14% less. With the lower CPA, Drewyer can put money back into more paid search opportunities to drive people to the site.
Sitelink Extensions, which take searchers to specific pages on the Mohegan Sun site, also help increase click-through rates and have become standard in campaigns. In addition, Drewyer uses Callout Extensions. “We mostly use them to promote the amenities, shopping options and dining choices on the premises as well as seasonal promotions/events,” he says. For example, Mohegan Sun did a Callout Extension in support of its more than 30 dining options. Another one concerned having the choice of fine and casual dining. Sometimes they revolve around a campaign such as “3 casinos. 3 experiences.” For events, Drewyer has used Callout Extensions to promote epic concerts or celebrity parties.

Familiar and personal

Mohegan Sun also makes the most of campaigns it already has in Google AdWords by importing them into Bing Ads. “Bing Ads Editor makes it so easy to import campaigns from Google AdWords,” says Drewyer. “It is very seamless transition.”
Features aside, a final point worth mentioning is the human element. Drewyer sees a real collaborative aspect between the Bing Ads team and those at his digital agency and at Mohegan Sun. “There are great people over there, very caring and responsive, who can get me straight to someone for help,” Drewyer says. “They’re really knowledgeable about the products and internal workings at Bing, and anything happening with the development team.” For Mohegan Sun that’s truly a winning hand.

See a summary

View or save an infographic of how Mohegan Sun uses ad extensions and Sitelink Extensions to target searchers and take them to specific pages on the Mohegan Sun site.

  Download the infographic