The Devil Went Down to Vegas

LOS ANGELES Independent R&R Partners has added a microsite (visitlasvegas.com) referencing its new campaign for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, according to Daniel Russ, executive creative director.

The initiative, in which a Vegas visitor is tempted to loosen up by a devilish representation of his bad side, began in 60- and 30-second spots released last month.

Russ said the production involved feeding the character hundreds of one-liners, then selecting a series of devilish tweaks that made for the best comedy. “It’s just another way to get at the adult-freedom message, this conflict between your inner naughty self and your inner good self,” he said. “The guy who plays the inner devil is really the kind of guy you always wanted to be.” Russ compared the light comic effect to the conscience figures appearing on characters’ shoulders in cartoons.

The 60-second version opens with the devil character in a plane with a reluctant Vegas partier. “When we hit the ground, we are going for it,” the devil says. “I wish you hadn’t checked your bags.” Overlooking the city, he adds, “We’re like the Huns. It’s all ours for the taking, all for the pillaging, but in a nice way.”

At a restaurant, the devil holds the menu open and says, “Do you trust me? I have your best interests at heart.” Donning a red suit, the devil tries to score dates to a club by lying about his influence as a “consultant.” He collects numbers that erupt into flames. At a lounge, he says to his reluctant buddy, “It’s my vacation, too. Don’t drag me down.” The spot ends with the “What happens here, stays here” tag.

David Shane, then signed to Hungry Man, directed. Russ worked with Tony Marin (copy), Glen Scott (art), cd Arnie DiGeorge and producer Dustin Oliver.

The new site plays off the commercial work with the headline “Vegas Free Will.” It encourages visitors to “Impose Your Free Will” by sending a personalized message from the devil or angel characters from the spot. By employing a Flash animation technique, either character will seem to mouth the message.

Copy-heavy print includes various resolutions to have fun in Vegas and not get uptight.

Russ said he hoped that the characters would be extended into future spots because the line readings yielded a good deal of chemistry between the actors. “I’m hoping we can have a TV series, too,” he joked.