Cole & Weber Picks Up Chinook Casino Account

Cole & Weber/Red Cell will be playing with the house’s money as it tries to drum up business for the the Chinook Winds Casino and Convention Center.

The agency’s Portland, Ore., office reeled in the estimated $3-4 million account after a three-month review. Greg Mason Advertising Arts in Reno, Nev., previously handled the account, but did not participate in the review.

Two undisclosed Portland agencies also pitched the business. The 6-year-old casino and convention center is located on the Oregon coast in Lincoln City.

“We were a good fit in terms of our ability to bring together all the disciplines they require,” said Rebecca Armstrong, vp and group director at Cole & Weber. Initially, the agency will provide Chinook Winds with advertising and public relations services. Going forward, it also expects to work on the casino’s Web site.

The agency has begun strategic planning for a TV, print, radio and outdoor campaign. The ads are expected to break in early 2002, and will run primarily in Oregon, as well as in spot markets throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Armstrong said the campaign will reposition Chinook Winds as a “destination location,” but said it was too early to elaborate on the specific strategy.

The 20,000-square-foot Chinook Winds facility, which is owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians of Oregon, includes a restaurant, day-care center, meeting space and large gaming area. More than 3,000 people visit the complex each day.

Located on the Pacific Ocean some 50 miles southwest of Portland, the casino is within walking distance of nearby beaches and fishing spots. The surrounding area also boasts a factory-outlet mall, golf course and lodging.

“Positioning ourselves as a destination resort is part of what motivated us into bringing on a new agency,” said Jim Kikumoto, general manager at Chinook Winds. “We are very excited about bringing Cole & Weber/Red Cell on board and are looking forward to a long-lasting and exciting relationship with them.”

Cole & Weber is based in Seattle. It joined WPP Group’s European-based ad agency network Red Cell in January.