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Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority "Beauty Shop"

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Some advertisers respond to economic hard times by aligning their brand with the austerity consumers feel compelled to adopt. That wouldn't work for Las Vegas, where people go for a fling - i.e., for some discretionary indiscretion. So, since you can't rebrand Las Vegas to fit hard times, new spots for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (by R&R Partners) shrewdly rebrand hard times as "crazy times" - which, of course, call for "crazy fun." The commercial shown here certainly does an inventive job of displaying crazy times, as everything goes haywire at a hair salon. (The psycho-stylist job applicant, menacingly clicking his scissors at the spot's protagonist, is an especially nice touch.) Viewing a scene like this, one almost feels an "escape" to Las Vegas is as much a matter of self-preservation as of self-indulgence. The spot doesn't say much about Las Vegas itself, which might be a problem for a less-well-known destination. In this instance, though, it allows the spot to keep the focus on the consumer and her sense of urgency to get away from the workaday craziness. Like many viewers, she already wants to go to Las Vegas. The spot makes them feel they have permission to do so, recession or no recession. -Mark Dolliver