MGM Seeking New Agency to Promote What Happens in Vegas

By Patrick Coffee 

Do you like to gamble and live in high style? Do you want to help encourage other people to do so?

MGM Resorts International is looking for one good ad agency to help promote its properties in Las Vegas. This means that current partners including RPA will lose business as the client seeks a new shop to handle marketing efforts for all of its Vegas-area hotels and casinos.

The statement from a company spokesperson:


“MGM Resorts International has worked with many partners in advertising and marketing for our various brands. As part of our efforts to more effectively and efficiently leverage the power of our portfolio of brands, MGM Resorts is currently soliciting a Request for Information (“RFI”) from Full Service Creative Agencies that would encompass representation of all of our Las Vegas brands including Delano and Mandalay Bay. This decision does not reflect the work or efforts of our current partners, but a desire of our Company to unify and leverage strategic thinking across our brands.”

You may note that MGM maintains quite a few such brands in Sin City, most prominent among them the MGM Grand. In April, the Grand Detroit (which was once with Y&R) chose McCann’s Motor City office to handle its campaigns–but most of MGM’s Vegas properties do not currently have a designated agency of record. MGM Mirage Advertising, the brand’s in-house shop, has worked on related campaigns in the past.

Santa Monica’s RPA has maintained a relationship with the MGM brand for some time: the shop won the $100 million media buying account in 2006 before scoring overall marketing duties for the Luxor and Excalibur resorts four years later. RPA also served as lead creative shop for the Delano and Mandalay Bay properties, which it won in 2008 (hence the mention in the client’s statement), but that will no longer be the case.

MGM is not necessarily a sure thing for agencies: you may recall that David&Goliath won AOR duties for the Mirage Hotel & Casino in 2012 only to lose the business to San Diego’s Experiences for Mankind less than six months later.

The larger MGM organization has made some other agency changes in recent months, picking R&R Partners (which first developed the “What Happens Here, Stays Here” campaign more than 10 years ago) to lead marketing efforts for the National Harbor casino, set to open in 2016 in Maryland. R&R is also MGM’s media agency of record.