Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas doesn't get tourists, it gets "resortists" -- well-muscled, upscale, Millennial rat-packers who eschew the peripatetic zombie scene of the strip. They evince a kind of neo-Dean Martin ethic of good food, good pools, good drinks and good … you know.
That’s the aesthetic of a new national brand campaign the company is launching. The effort, via AOR Santa Monica, Calif.-based RPA aims to grab Mandalay the mantle of Las Vegas' real resort. The print and digital campaign includes takeovers in California markets to promulgate the central philosophical theme: “You’re not a tourist, you’re a ‘resortist.’”
The effort spotlights Mandalay Bay's 120 acres and the idea that one need not really go anywhere else. Ads featuring 20 and 30-somethings with six-packs (both men and women), shot by fashion photographer Dewey Nicks will be in travel, entertainment, hotel and wedding magazines and Web sites.
The resort says the campaign will focus on the western U.S. cities in California that generate the most Las Vegas tourism. Thus Mandalay Bay will have wrapped trolley cars in San Diego, terminal domination projects in San Diego and Orange County’s John Wayne airports and environmental advertising at select Southern California malls.
“‘Resortist’ may be the hardest-working word in tourism,” RPA VP/CD Scott McDonald, in a statement. “In one single word, it’s able to characterize our guest and define what Mandalay Bay represents in the city with the most hotel rooms on Earth.”
Over the past four years Vegas has seen gambling revenue drop by double digits and conventions go elsewhere. Sin City is trying for a comeback this year, though. According to the Las Vegas Tourism and Convention Bureau, the city's more than 26.2 million visitors through August represent a 4.7% increase in volume. Hotel occupancy year-to-date through August is 85.2%, 4.2% better than last year.
Early this year rival MGM resorts launched M Life, a loyalty program where gamblers got deals on attractions, shows, and in restaurants. This month MGM is to expand the program to non-gamblers based on what they spend.