C-K Extends Cliff Castle Effort

Phoenix-Area Casino Takes ‘Unexpected’ Theme and Runs With It
LOS ANGELES–Cramer-Krasselt has casino goers expecting the unexpected with the latest in its series of TV spots for the Cliff Castle Casino.
The series of ads, developed under the theme “Totally Unexpected,” captures Cliff Castle’s “greatly enhanced experience from what people expect,” said Brian Landauer, svp and general manager of the agency’s Phoenix office.
Tina Lentz, director of marketing for Cliff Castle, agreed, saying the “Think that’s totally unexpected?” tagline came from “an actual comment that came about in research.”
Research suggested people generally do not have the most flattering view of most Arizona casinos, associating them with slot machines and cigarette smoke, and that the guest services and amenities offered by Cliff Castle are, indeed, unexpected, Lentz said.
One 30-second TV spot features a skydiving instructor reassuring a wary first-time skydiver not to worry, that his own son packs the parachutes. Next we see a kid on a schoolyard opening his knapsack to find a chute inside. The unlucky diver is then shown flat on the ground surrounded by homework and an apple for the teacher. The tagline then appears onscreen, followed by a montage of the various amenities offered by the Camp Verde, Ariz., casino.
A second spot takes a similar approach, featuring a man teasing a monkey at the zoo despite signs warning against it. Overly confident at first, he is shocked to find himself suddenly slammed against the cage by a tiny monkey paw.
The new commercials follow two earlier spots that aired in late December. Billings for the campaign are $2-3 million.
The monkey and skydiver spots broke in late May and will air through the remainder of the year. More installments may also be developed for the series.
Earlier spots–with a man discoving his wife is moonlighting on an Internet porn site and an athlete rejecting a contract as too generous–were also humorous [Adweek, Feb. 28]. It’s an approach, Lentz said, that has wide appeal.
Following a grand reopening back in January, the challenge for Cliff Castle is to attract customers from Phoenix, an hour away, who have their pick of various other casino options closer to home. K