New York Shop Brings Back Hard Rock’s Edge

LOS ANGELES In an effort to advance its thrill-seeking, plugged-in trendsetter image, Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has launched a campaign created by independent DiMassimo Carr Brand Advertising and West Coast creative collaborator Sally Hogshead, most recently creative director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s former Venice, Calif., office.

The $10-15 million campaign targets advertising-wary, “sophisticated insiders,” said agency president Mark DiMassimo.

The initial component, a full-page print ad designed to resemble a doctor’s prescription for 48 hours of post-Vegas bed rest, launched in this week’s Hamptons magazine. It will be followed next month by a 24-page “straightforward but shocking guide to partying,” said Lee Goldstein, DiMassimo’s head of new business. To be distributed at nightclubs nationwide, the booklet features tips on “waking up with singles in your undies” to threesome etiquette. “When you get it, you’ll just have to bring it back to work on Monday,” he said.

Aiming for word-of-mouth over traditional media-outlet advertising, the Hard Rock also wants to generate buzz with high-level product placement. Its penthouse suite will serve as a backdrop for an upcoming Victoria’s Secret catalog; the hotel already has been featured prominently on Fox’s The O.C.

The campaign’s irreverent, in-your-face edginess aims to attract “an influential, dynamic demo,” said Phil Shalala, the privately owned hotel’s vp of marketing. He added that if any controversy arises over the campaign, it should not be reason for concern. “If you don’t get it,” he joked, “you’re not cool for us.”