As lockdown kicked in back in March and we at Stripe all moved to remote working, our client Mecca Bingo’s clubs closed across the country. Following this, we didn’t expect to have such a ‘Mecca’ busy few months.
Mecca Bingo is a brand at the heart of local communities across the country and in response to the crisis it stepped up: calling regular customers to keep in touch, giving away Easter eggs, celebrating milestone birthdays with regulars and providing over 50,000 meals to local communities.
As all this great work went on, #MeccaTogether was born to keep the community connected, albeit remotely. Alongside this reactive activity, we recognised the importance of having a strong strategy ready to go ahead of our being able to announce the reopening of clubs. A crucial part of this was getting the messaging right to reassure customers that everything possible was being done to keep them safe when they were ready to return. Alongside our client, we were proactive and started planning for reopening from the moment the doors closed. The key to success was this preparation and forward planning, preparing our materials in plenty of time and creating a clear narrative – bingo is back and it’s safe to come to Mecca.
Bringing Bingo Back
This preparation put us in good stead to be the first bingo brand to announce reopening, and meant we were ready to go in response to the Government announcement. We identified key opportunities with media targets aligned to Mecca’s audience and offered exclusive first look access to the new way to play and visit Mecca.
As part of their ‘Bounce Back Britain’ campaign, The Sun Online came to Mecca Dagenham and made an exclusive video feature showing the new safety measures in place and interviewing Mecca’s Head of Venues. The video landed all key messages and featured alongside photos to show how the new Mecca Bingo experience would look so customers could get more insight.
We had a LOT of fun working with ITV’s This Morning, getting Alison Hammond into Mecca Oldbury for a live broadcast segment. She was brilliant and even had a go calling bingo numbers whilst Ruth and Eamonn played along in the studio, which saw Ruth win! To extend the relevance of this live piece online as people watched, we also created a play along game for our audiences that was shared via Mecca social channels.
The next step to tell more of the story behind Mecca bringing bingo back was a wide media sell in to national and regional titles. This secured over 300 pieces of coverage and saw Press Association, Getty and Reuters visit Mecca Luton on the night of opening.
Celebrating a (socially distant) Full House
Not only has Mecca Bingo reshaped the experience for customers to ensure safety with measures such as social distancing, hand sanitiser stations, a capacity cap and use of technology but is also evolving its offering to broaden beyond bingo and firmly put itself on the map as a great entertainment offer. We helped them to tell this story in all reopening comms and we’re looking forward to working with the Mecca team to celebrate and hero some of the brilliant upcoming events.