Harrah's launches in-resort digital ad network

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Harrah's Entertainment launched a digital advertising network in its resorts this week with Reach Media Group.

Harrah's goal is to enable the company, and marketers, to engage with customers in a more relevant way. It also wants to make digital signage a focus of its customer communications and move away from print advertising, said Lynn Mayes, director of digital media at Harrah's Entertainment.

“It has been a goal of ours to monetize our digital signage for quite some time,” she said. “We have about 37 properties across the US, all of which have some form of digital signage, like the casino floor and in-room TVs. We are starting to install digital signage units on slot machines… Our hope is to use digital signage as a vehicle to talk to customers, to save on paper, and go green.”

The Hospitality Entertainment Network, launched November 1, consists of approximately 50,000 screens throughout Harrah's Entertainment-owned hotels and casinos, including the Caesars Palace, Harrah's, Horseshoe and Planet Hollywood resorts.

“If you think about the vast expanse of properties and the number of guests we have, upwards of 100 million, that's worth an awful lot to advertisers,” said Mayes.

The network will let advertisers engage audiences through geo-targetable mobile display ads, mobile coupons, online loyalty programs and touch screen systems.

Advertising will begin running on the network early next month.

Harrah's sent out a RFP for the project in May, and worked with consulting firm Juno Management to find a partner.

“Being able to essentially track consumers and contextually target them throughout their experience throughout Harrah's properties is the vision for the network,” said David Bruce, VP of strategy at Reach Media Group.

He added that the network will enable some mobile engagement, as consumers check into a hotel, for example. Marketers will also be able to use overhead screen advertising to connect with consumers on their mobile phones, or on the casino floor.

“There would be the opportunity to have a continued dialogue with them,” he said.

Bruce added that marketers will be able to provide consumers locally relevant information.

“We are trying to bring all of the different opportunities together to enhance the consumer experience, but make it very appealing for advertisers to be able to contextually target and attract consumers as they move throughout the properties,” he said.

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