Advertisers Work On New Image For "Sin City" After Las Vegas Shooting

Sunday, October 8th 2017, 8:08 am
By: News On 6

The massacre in Las Vegas has prompted the entertainment destination to re-brand its "Sin City" image.

Over the years, the commercials have been hard to miss. With the now-famous tagline "What Happens Here, Stays Here," Las Vegas bills itself as a playground.

But after "What Happened Here" on Sunday, advertising for Las Vegas had to change.

Note in Las Vegas gunman's hotel room included details of bullet trajectory

"We pulled all the ads right away," said Billy Vassiliadis, CEO of R&R partners, the ad agency behind the Vegas campaign. 

He said "tonality" it was important to change the ads. "I mean, people are in grief. They're in shock." 

They now had to determine what message Las Vegas should send to the world.

"Our message was that Las Vegas needs to take care of what happened," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. He said it became clear the day after the attack, with the outpouring of support.

"Our customers talked to us. And so social media started saying 'Vegas Strong' and it just resonated with all of us," Ralenkotter said. 

One suggested ad is "When Things Get Dark, Vegas Shines." Yanick Dalhouse runs the Vegas account at R&R partners and her team has spent days trying to put what happened here into words.

"It's hard to sort of separate the human emotions from it, and some of the words that our creative team has come up to describe," Dalhouse said. "There's times when we all have a moment and cry, because we have to."

One ad is voiced by Las Vegas native Andre Agassi, saying, "Strength is the first responders... Strength is our promise for tomorrow."

And another is silent but powerful, pointing out that "what happened here is not going to stop us." 

Vassiliadis said he wants the world to know that Las Vegas is "strong. That we will get through this as a community." 

He said he will see "What Happens in Vegas" again. "It's the most successful campaign in the travel industry ... it'll be back," Vassiliadis said. 

But not until those affected by what happened here begin to heal.