Brown Helps Treasure Island Grow Up

LOS ANGELES As it looks to trade in its kitschy, kid-centric image and attract a more upscale, professional young adult crowd, the Treasure Island hotel and casino is launching a campaign that rebrands the property as TI.

Created by Brown & Partners, the campaign for the MGM Mirage property in Las Vegas includes five print executions breaking later this month, as well as one 30-second TV spot. Spending for the campaign is estimated at $3 million.

The effort comes as TI prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary in October. Over the last few years, TI has upgraded its rooms, removed the “pirate-y kitschy loot and booty,” renovated its lobby, and added its Mist Lounge and Breeze Bar, said MGM Mirage representative Jen Michaels. Future plans call for a new marquee that will replace the massive skull and crossed swords with a new TI logo, a more sensual interpretation of the Battle of Buccaneer Bay, featuring the “Sirens of Treasure Island, ” a nightclub and a new Mexican restaurant.

When Treasure Island opened in 1993, it was named after the Robert Louis Stevenson novel of the same name, noted Michaels. “At the time, there was a perception that it was designed for kids,” she said. “It was a misperception. We have always designed Treasure Island as [a place for] the child behind the adult.”

Guests and employees have referred to Treasure Island as TI since the day it opened, Michaels said. “It’s a hipper, catchier, trendier way to refer to the property,” she said. TI, however, will be used in conjunction with Treasure Island. “There’s entirely too much brand equity to move away from it,” said Michaels.

Each of the five amber-hued print ads features a one-word headline. “Stimulating” shows a sexy blond woman leaning on a male blackjack player, “Flirtation” presents men admiring scantily clad women in a lounge and “Captivating” depicts a woman in a leopard-print dress emerging from a sports car as the doorman watches. Another ad, “Anticipation,” features a bride and is aimed at women planning weddings, while an execution targeted at meeting planners, “Possibilities,” shows three men and a woman in business suits. The TI logo, along with the name Treasure Island, appears in the lower right corner.

The ads are meant to attract younger guests ages 29 and up, said Rod Reber, account services director at Brown & Partners in Las Vegas. “They’ve got a very strong customer base ages 45-plus. We’re trying to expand to a younger market,” he said.

Print ads will break at the end of June and run for the next three months in publications such as InStyle, People, Playboy and Maxim, in markets such as Southern California, San Francisco, Phoenix, Chicago and Dallas.

The TV spot, currently airing, follows different characters from the gaming tables to the Mist, then to the Buccaneer Bay restaurant, overlooking the “Sirens of Treasure Island” show.