NEW YORK Mohegan Sun is taking its latest cue from musical theater. But instead of Broadway actors singing show tunes, they're singing remakes of popular songs in their own special style.
The Connecticut-based casino on Tuesday launches a television and radio campaign from MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners that positions the company as a safe, feel-good place to spend time.
One of the three 30-second spots, "Super Freak," shows performers from Broadway shows, including Wicked and A Chorus Line, singing and dancing around the casino to a musical number set to the tune of Rick James' "Superfreak" with the lyrics changed to reference Mohegan Sun. Sample lyric: "It's a very special place/The kind you want to share with others."
This campaign is a change for the client. The previous effort, "World at play," took place in 2005 and depicted people enjoying non-gambling activities at Mohegan Sun. For example, one ad showed a man getting a seaweed wrap and massage. Kirshenbaum was responsible for that one as well.
"Your marketing evolves over time and our needs at the time of the last campaign was to convey to a large audience the breadth of things Mohegan Sun has to offer. Research indicated that people weren't aware of it," said Mitchell Etess, president and CEO of Mohegan Sun, based in Uncasville, Conn. "As time evolved, and we were successful in our goals, we found we needed to show our beautiful property."
Other songs being discussed for the new "Musicals" campaign include Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Huey Lewis and the News' "The Power of Love." Both would be for radio spots.
Spots will be seen and heard in mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states via regional buys on shows such as Big Brother, CSI and House. Out of home will consist of billboards along highways that lead to the casino saying things such as "Could you use some sun?" Interactive is still being determined.
"How do we communicate, for an casino, an optimistic, joyous point of view? It's similar to when I was a kid and I was at recess. I felt safe. It's not sexy or edgy, but it's fun, just not in a 'I'm going to get into trouble tomorrow' way like Vegas is," said Isidoro Debellis, network cd, Kirshenbaum. "Yes, gambling is a part of it, but it's not the whole story. What is more joyous and optimistic than a musical?"