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Las Vegas to Bring Back Its Famous ‘What Happens in Vegas’ Commercials

Sep 13, 2013 4:00 am

Skift Take

Clearly, Las Vegas failed with its new Las Vegasdotcom guy, and bringing the old tagline back seems the best way to build going forward. To say it was “resting since 2012″ is just spin.

— Dennis Schaal

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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority will resurrect its most successful — and most popular — ad campaign later this year when it rolls out more “What happens here, stays here” television commercials.

The ads, developed by the LVCVA’s advertising consultant, R&R Partners, were given a short rest last year when the city’s primary tourism marketers developed a campaign to introduce lasvegas.com, its hotel room reservation booking site.

Returning the award-winning “What happens here” ads was one of the marketing strategies unveiled to the LVCVA’s board of directors today. The advertising and marketing plan is in the final year of the LVCVA’s three-year, $90 million contract with R&R.

The lasvegas.com launch late last year was designed to drive visitors to book on the website and used a character named Las Vegasdotcom to capture attention. The “What happens here, stays here” ads have used humorous settings and circumstances to portray Las Vegas as a place where visitors can do things that they might be uncomfortable telling their friends about.

R&R principal Billy Vassiliadis said focus groups consistently rave about the “What happens here” ads and they are proven motivators for driving tourist traffic.

Vassiliadis said the uptick in the economy would provide more opportunities to increase traffic with Caesars Entertainment’s Linq project opening early next year, downtown Las Vegas innovations and MGM Resorts International planning to build a new arena on the Strip.

Other highlights of R&R’s marketing plan:

–Las Vegas will partner with Google to launch Google Interiors, a project to provide users views within buildings using the Google Maps format. Vassiliadis also said lasvegas.com would experience a “Googleization” that will provide more data and information about the site’s users so that the LVCVA can market to them more effectively.

–The LVCVA will develop more branded weekends and promotional periods to drive traffic on traditionally slow weeks. Vassiliadis said the plan is to have at least one branded weekend every month of the year. Last year, the city stepped up to take ownership of the Halloween holiday with its “Vegas Howl-o-week” promotion.

–Next year, the LVCVA and R&R will create a mobile app that will focus on e-commerce and expanding the Las Vegas brand onto the mobile platform. Vassiliadis noted that while communications with desktop computers grew by 12 percent, mobile usage expanded by 125 percent.

–Las Vegas will continue to be boosted on social media with “likes” and “follows” growing on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest.

–R&R’s public relations experts will continue to seek opportunities to capitalize on news events that put Las Vegas in a positive light. Vassiliadis noted the PR coup that occurred for Las Vegas when Prince Harry hosted a party in a hotel room and people who distributed pictures were called out for “violating the code.” “I felt bad for the young guy, but it was good for us,” Vassiliadis said.

–The LVCVA and R&R will continue to press for more international visitors with advertising and marketing efforts in Great Britain, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. R&R has already produced a “What happens here” ad in Spanish.

–The LVCVA also will bolster its position as a leading host for conventions and trade shows and will take that information to airlines in hopes of getting more seats to the destination. Airlines view Las Vegas as primarily a leisure destination, but an emphasis on business would be profitable to airlines that generate the most revenue from business customers. ___

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