Brand perception ‘green shoots’ for TAB by thinking outside of the category

news corp TAB ed faith

“There was a real need to completely position TAB to appeal more to that younger 18-34 audience that we were under-indexing in.”

TAB had a problem. The wagering and gaming company originally had a monopoly in Australia, before overseas corporate bookmakers entered the market, backed by the scale of their parent companies. TAB went from leading the space to falling down the pecking order.

“The brand itself was very much seen as a legacy brand for your mum and dad betting on racing in the local pub, or the local standalone TAB,” Tabcorp head of marketing, Luke Feddema, told Mediaweek.

“There was a real need to completely position TAB to appeal more to that younger 18-34 audience that we were under-indexing in.”

To re-launch the brand, the Newsamp team turned to elections. The Great Sport Debate gave audiences a QR code to scan so they could vote, once and for all, on what Australia’s national sport was.

By spreading the word using News Corp’s print and digital titles – and driving engagement using techniques such as suggesting to Melbourne that NRL was the real national sport – the campaign recorded 104,000 entries voting for about 20 mainstream sports and about 50 less obvious ones.

TAB newsamp

“To get people participating and joining the debate, we needed to create a fairly open and inviting environment to allow that to happen,” Ed Faith, GM client strategy and solutions, Newsamp NSW and QLD said.

“Once you got the debate underway and people are starting to really think about what might constitute the national sport, that’s when you can come in and say actually, it’s all sports, and we’re on for all of them. It’s almost like a gear change.”

The final piece of the puzzle was exactly that, with the follow-up ‘Sport is our Sport’ campaign driving home TAB’s connection with punters, no matter what game it is they’re watching. 

Describing the results, Faith said the campaign had produced “really exceptional outcomes” that the team were “very proud” of.

TAB newsamp

Feddema backed this up from Tabcorp’s perspective, saying that month when the campaign launched, TAB’s first choice metric was the highest that it had been since testing started. 

“It was the highest recall that we’ve had since we started testing – we started testing in 2021 and this is easily our highest recall campaign. It recorded our highest appeal metric for any campaign we tested, and the highest percentage of active engagement achieved as well.”

Faith attributed a significant part of the campaign’s success to having media partners like News Corp who can drive real influence as part of the media channel mix. 

“If you think about all the different tactics and channels that we used in this campaign, you wouldn’t be able to get an outcome like this if you briefed us or any other media partner as one channel,” said Faith.

“You get a better outcome when you allocate a greater proportion of your attention and budget toward an influence partnership. I don’t mean influencers and social media, I mean a partnership that can drive meaningful influence with an audience because of the affinity that they have, and the relationship that they’ve earned over time.”

Tabcorp head of marketing, Luke Feddema

Tabcorp head of marketing, Luke Feddema

Looking back at the campaign, Faith said ‘Sport is our Sport’ highlighted the importance of creativity and what the team do at Newsamp.

“We had a number of tactical solutions that could facilitate a debate about sport, but it wasn’t until we sat down and really used our insights, strategy, and creative thinking processes to crack the insight that it’s actually elections that we want to be looking toward.

“The takeout is to think laterally. When you’ve got a problem to solve in one category, the answer is probably in another category so if you think laterally, you can find that answer. You can reframe that for what the client and category problem is trying to solve.”

The results are already starting to translate into measurable impact for Tabcorp, with Feddema saying, “We’re already seeing a really positive impact in share, particularly amongst younger audiences. 

“Shifting brand perception for TAB at scale is a long game, but I’m already starting to see some green shoots showing.”

See Also: Newsamp: Putting the Spotlight on relevance and data

Top Image: Ed Faith

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