Research has shown that only 13 percent of Las Vegas tourists say they are traveling to the city to gamble. However, 87 percent of tourists wind up gambling while they are there.
So, how does Las Vegas do it?
Well, it definitely starts with the most successful slogan ever developed by an American city. The “What Happens Here, Stays Here” ad campaign turned Las Vegas into one of the most identifiable brands in the United States – only falling behind Google in recognition.
There’s no harm in playing some slots and enjoying some drinks when nobody will find out, right?
Las Vegas’ “What Happens Here, Stays Here” slogan effectively marked an end to the city’s silly attempt to brand itself as a family-friendly destination and allowed Las Vegas to fully resurrect itself as “Sin City.”
Las Vegas’ ad campaign debuted in 2002, and within a couple years, the city was already seeing record amounts of tourism.
In the early 90s, Las Vegas put a considerable amount of effort into branding itself as a family destination, but the campaign weakened when the MGM Grand’s Adventure Theme Park closed its doors in 2000. The “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign was used to announce that the city was going back to what it really was…an adult-oriented vacation destination.
At first, R&R Partners had a tough time selling their “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign to the city and found their ads rejected when they submitted them to the NFL to run in the Super Bowl. However, the campaign was given months of free publicity with announcement of the rejection of the “risqué” ads.
Since the early 2000s, the ad campaign has maintained its popularity and will continue to be a part of the upcoming brand marketing strategy for the Las Vegas tourism industry. The campaign was recently chosen to be the number one campaign in North America and will be inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame.