What’s in a Name? A Better Bet

$1.2 Bil. Hotel, Gambling Center Seeks a Bigger Agency Partner
DALLAS-The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino is looking for an advertising agency to relaunch the $1.2 billion Venice-themed entertainment complex following a split with its incumbent.
Heftel Media in Las Vegas, which operates the resort’s nightclub as a live event and commercial television studio during the day, resigned from the account last month.
“We really couldn’t do justice to The Venetian,” said Sterling Martell, creative director of Heftel Media. “We opened the resort, but now our efforts are electronic and they’re doing more print.”
“They’re probably looking for a larger agency that has multiple layers of experience,” Martell added.
An industry source said that The Venetian is contacting agencies to help it spend $5 million on a “grand opening” promotion. The Las Vegas facility officially opened for business May 4, 1999.
The account will include creative work, public relations and media buying. Spending beyond the opening promotional campaign has not been specified.
Competitive Media Reporting shows The Venetian spent $2 million on advertising during the first three quarters of 1999. No major media expenditures were recorded for 1998.
Company officials were not available to comment about the review at press time last week.
The resort conducted a similar national review two years ago [Adweek, Dec. 15, 1997]. At that time, client officials met with a handful of agencies from Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas, intending to select one based on “their reputation and their ability to produce results,” said Kurt Ouchida, director of communications for The Venetian.
But having taken the gamble of eschewing big-name agencies in favor of the close-to-home talents of Heftel, The Venetian seems to wish it had invested more in the opening of what is billed as the world’s largest casino resort.
Owned by Las Vegas Sands Inc., The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino encompasses canals and gondola rides as part of the themed complex, which includes a 3,036-room all-suite hotel, retail shops, restaurants and 120,000 square feet of gaming floor space. At the end of August, the company reported daily averages of $4.2 million at its slot machines and $2.2 million at its table games.