R&R Partners Ups Ante for MotorCity Casino

LOS ANGELES A new campaign by independent R&R Partners for Detroit’s MotorCity Casino “takes creative to a sexier, edgier level,” the agency said last week.

Rolling out through the fall in the Detroit, Cleveland and Toledo, Ohio, markets, two 30-second spots and several print and outdoor executions aim to enhance the 5-year-old casino’s image as a “hip, cool destination for hanging out,” said Marla Bauer, account leader at R&R in Las Vegas. This is the agency’s second campaign for the property, which is majority-owned by Las Vegas-based Mandalay Resorts Group.

Using animation and actual footage of downtown Detroit hot spots, the work “takes the casino’s image a step above” the shop’s earlier efforts, said Bauer. With colorful special effects and an upbeat, funk-rock soundtrack, MotorCity is presented as the “pulse of Detroit”—a collage of luxury cars, cocktails, roulette tables, silk stockings and dancing parking meters. The work targets a city-savvy, 30-plus audience ready “for a night on the town.”

The media component of the nearly $9 million effort includes network and cable TV, regional glossies, radio, billboards, taxi tops and event sponsorships through 2006, Bauer said. That figure is somewhat greater than past budgets and “about equal” to the amount Mandalay dedicates to each of its Las Vegas properties, she said. According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, MotorCity spent about $2 million on advertising in 2003.

One of three casinos in downtown Detroit, MotorCity consists of 70,000 square feet of entertainment, dining, slots, and electronic and table games in the renovated Wonder Bread Factory Building. The casino expects its 2004 earnings—not including food- and alcohol-generated income—to top $2.5 billion.