MGM’s First Ad Following the Las Vegas Shootings Draws Swift Criticism on Social

The brand changed the tone of its original campaign

The brand is running a new ad campaign after the tragedy. MGM Resorts International
Headshot of Katie Richards

MGM Resorts International has released a new ad following the deadly mass shooting in Las Vegas 18 days ago. The 30-second spot, “Together We Shine,” debuted during opening night of the 2017-2018 NBA season and has immediately drawn criticism on social media.

MGM originally released its first brand campaign, “Welcome to the Show,” on Sept. 15, with the intention of celebrating the glitz, glamour and entertainment that it provides guests from all over the world. In the television ad, the brand promised to “blow the mind of all mankind.” Two weeks later when a shooter opened fire from inside of Mandalay Bay, an MGM property, the brand immediately pulled the spot.

Now the company has released what appears to be a recut version of that ad.

The 30-second spot is set to a version of “This Little Light of Mine” sung by Odetta, and closes with the hashtag #VegasStrong.

Some find it to a be a great reminder of the strength and resilience of the city.

Others see it as a brand capitalizing on a grave tragedy.

McCann New York worked on the original ad with MGM and deferred to the client to comment on the new cut of the ad. MGM Resorts International did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

UPDATE: Lili Tomovich, chief experience and marketing officer of MGM Resorts International, said of the ad, “We created this spot to reflect the strength and resilience of Las Vegas, of MGM Resorts, of Mandalay Bay and of all of our employees. The response to the message has been overwhelmingly positive. It reinforces our promise to the world that we’ll remain strong and united in the face of adversity.”

Here’s the original version of the ad:

@ktjrichards Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.