Las Vegas Tourism “Report”

For all the emphasis on individualism in this country, few people are comfortable being the odd man (or odd woman) out. So, if conventional wisdom says the recession is keeping Americans away from venues like Las Vegas, that alone will make consumers less likely to go there. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (via R&R Partners) is smart, then, to launch a preemptive strike against such buzz, as it does in this spot. We see a TV newscaster reporting on the empty poolside cabanas as “yet another troubling sign of the times.” (Kudos to the actress for nailing the grave facial expression and over-emphatic diction that are endemic to such news reports.) But after the obligatory “Back to you, Tom” cue to the anchorman, she tosses aside her newscaster jacket to reveal a bikini underneath. And if the cabanas are empty, we see it’s because everyone is crowded around or in the pool. One nice detail: Our protagonist appears still to be wearing her high heels as she cannonballs into the water, with her cameraman right behind her. Now that’s the “happens here, stays here” spirit! The spot implicitly rebuts the notion that Las Vegas has become a ghost town and (more importantly) the notion that you’d be stepping apart from the rest of the human race if you booked a vacation there in the midst of a recession. Sometimes a commercial must give people permission to do something they’d like to do anyway. This one deftly performs that function. –Mark Dolliver