Carmichael Lynch Goes To Oscars For Harrah’s First Branding Effort

Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis today breaks a $30 million brand image campaign for Harrah’s Entertainment, the gaming company’s first such effort.
Leading the campaign is a 30-second spot set to air during tonight’s Academy Awards telecast. The spot will air in Harrah’s 15 primary casino “feeder” markets, including New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago, from which it draws most of its clientele.
The campaign is aimed at people who are already familiar with gambling and with the Harrah’s name, and is intended to reinforce a feeling of comfort with both.
“We want to establish that playing at Harrah’s in [Mississippi] is the same as playing at Harrah’s in Las Vegas,” said John Colasanti, the agency’s director of account management.
The Memphis, Tenn.-based company has traditionally focused its advertising around its individual properties, but decided last year that it needed to develop a national image. Harrah’s spent $18 million on advertising in 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The TV spot, titled “Wrecking Crew,” features three women identified as a salesperson, a lawyer and a nurse by day. By night, the spot explains, the women are known as “the Wrecking Crew. And no machine is safe.” The tagline is, “Your biggest nights happen here.”
The agency opted for the pricey Oscars buy after its research showed people who gamble are also interested in movies, sports and entertainment.
The initial campaign includes another 30-second spot and print executions set to break in May issues of magazines such as People, Time, Sports Illustrated, Entertainment Weekly and several city-based magazines.
The print ads, intended to appeal to knowledgeable gamblers, feature such headlines as, “Some men hunt bears. Others jump from airplanes. He splits eights.”