Showboat Casino Reviews After Splitting With C-K

New management at Showboat Mardi Gras Casino in East Chicago, Ind., severed relations with Cramer-Krasselt here last week and initiated a review to find a new agency.
Showboat Inc. of Atlantic City, N.J., spends an estimated $1-3 million annually on advertising for its Showboat Mardi Gras gambling boat, anchored in Lake Michigan near Chicago, said Kim Mullins, the casino’s advertising and public relations coordinator.
C-K won the business in September 1996 following a review, before the casino opened. Gamblers began boarding the following April, some lured by a blitz of grand opening advertising from C-K using the tagline “Ca-ching, ca-ching.”
Those marketing efforts boosted the first-year budget into the $3-5 million range, Mullins said.
The casino’s current tagline is, “The thrill of Mardi Gras, the action of Las Vegas.”
Showboat plans to continue TV, radio, print and outdoor advertising in the Chicago and northwest Indiana media markets, Mullins said. Agencies in Chicago are being considered, along with agencies in New Jersey and Las Vegas.
Peter Krivkovich, president of C-K, said the agency will continue buying media for Showboat until a new agency is in place. The casino has recently being handling some of its creative work in-house, he said.
Showboat Mardi Gras Casino recently underwent a complete executive makeover, adding a new president, chief financial officer, vice president of gaming and vice president of marketing. The new management decided to go with a different ad agency, Mullins said. “We’re just seeing what everybody has to offer,” she said.
Showboat Inc. is expected to be acquired by Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. of Memphis, Tenn., under a deal announced in December.