The Assignment:

Build awareness and increase customer base for the world's largest card room.

The Strategy:

Embrace The Commerce’s “grind joint” reputation for an honest and refreshing brand identity that sets it apart from the competition.



Background

LA’s Commerce Casino hadn’t changed much in 35 years. Their biggest competitors — The Bicycle, Hawaiian Gardens, and Hollywood Park — had all invested in major redesigns, trying to reach new audiences. Commerce knew they had to do something different … but what?

Working closely with the Commerce, my team at Digital Kitchen and I developed a new brand identity and messaging plan that provided a refreshing alternative to the stereotypical high-roller fantasies being invoked by the competition. We focused on a no-bullshit brand identity that positioned The Commerce as the casino of choice for true players.

Development

Before we began creative exploration, we spent two months researching the marketplace, interviewing staff and customers, and looking at sales data to find that special thing that set Commerce apart. What we found was that people liked playing at Commerce not because it was the biggest or the flashiest, but because they trusted Commerce. In the world of gambling, “trustworthy” is about the highest compliment you can pay.

We knew this insight had to be at the center of our brand strategy.

I led the rebrand messaging efforts, creating brand pillars and positioning that established Commerce as the “honest broker” in the LA casino scene. Our tagline—“Where the game reigns”—put the game front-and-center. I wrote a brand book and messaging style guide that emphasized our dedication to honesty, customer service, and an unforgettable game of cards. Instead of “Commerce,” as it was colloquially known, we started referring to the casino in all of our messaging as “The Commerce”—a subtle difference that subconsciously elevates the brand from one of many to the one-and-only.


Accolades

  • A continued 3+ year partnership to develop all of The Commerce's assets and continue building the brand.

Results

  • Increased revenue every month since our partnership began.
  • 500% increase in sign ups to customer rewards program.