Loud. Sexy. Aggressive. Claustrophobic. These aren't characteristics you would normally associate with hotel advertising. But then, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has never done things by the book.
The luxury Vegas property, which opened in 2010, made a splash right out of the gate with a provocative campaign from Fallon with the theme, "Just the right amount of wrong." The decadent, buzzed-about launch spot hinted at all sorts of curious misbehavior happening inside the Cosmopolitan—slyly tempting an adventurous psychographic of people seeking experiences, not just amenities, to finish the stories with a visit. The marketer extended the campaign with a 2012 spot that told an absurd yet stylish poolside tale whose dialogue was all taken straight from the lyrics to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody."
Now, the Cosmopolitan has a new spot out from Fallon—and it changes the game again. With a mix of driving music, kinetic on-screen type and striking, cryptic images, it again tempts rather than beseeches the viewer, but with a new language and tone that chief marketing officer Lisa Marchese says was necessary after rivals began imitating the Cosmopolitan's ad style.
"There have been a lot of spots that have come out that look like they almost could have been from us," Marchese tells Adweek. "We wanted to create a spot that was radically different in form—the mix of typography to imagery, the way the imagery was shot. The tone is radically different. We wanted it to look like nothing else out there."
The on-screen type features mini-mantras that celebrate iconoclasm and rebellion. The lines include: "Mutation is progress," "Wrong has more fun," "Correct is a mistake," "Make a hot mess," "Wild is laid" and "Misfit right in." The images—body parts, items breaking, odd tableaus—are largely unexplained, but that's the point. "We've proved out the assumption that the best thing we can do with our target guest is pique their curiosity, and they'll fill in the gaps," says Marchese. "They like the mystery in the approach."
The music, too, is breakthrough—pugnacious and unpredictable. "I thought for sure this song would start to drive me nuts, but the more you listen to it, the more you see the texture and the layers," says Marchese. "It goes from this heavy beat to this almost old-fashioned horn section. We liked the mashup. It's reminiscent of other things we've done where we've taken very different styles and pushed them together."
She adds: "Music is such a core part of our DNA, from how we opened with Coldplay and Jay-Z to every spot after that to the kind of entertainment you'll see on our property."
The goal of the work is simple: to "restimulate the market to think and talk about us three years in," says Marchese—and, as seen in the ad's final image, to get people to take the plunge. "People might love it or hate it," she adds, "but they're going to notice it and talk about it."
Client: The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas
Agency: Fallon, Minneapolis
Production Company: Gentleman Scholar
Directors: Will Johnson, Will Campbell