Y&R Readying Ads for MGM Grand

Agency Teams With WCJ to Handle One of 3 New Detroit Casinos
DETROIT–Young & Rubicam here has been named agency of record for the MGM Grand Detroit Casino, which is scheduled to open in a temporary facility this summer before moving to permanent quarters.
Y&R, partnering with sister agency Wunderman Cato Johnson, will develop and implement advertising and marketing programs for the casino, including an outdoor campaign scheduled to break midsummer.
The agreement includes account management, strategic planning and development and creative concept development, said Steve Seyferth, Y&R executive vice president and director of client services. Advertising will include TV, print, radio and outdoor ads, as well as interactive, direct and collateral pieces.
Plans are in the works for a permanent $800 million entertainment and gaming complex, which is expected to open in 2001 or 2002. Spending on the account is undisclosed, but sources estimate it will reach $5-10 million after the casino is established. Two other casinos are scheduled to open in the city at about the same time, and are expected to have similar budgets, according to sources.
“We’re very excited about what our Y&R resources can bring to the table from a total communications side to help [MGM Grand] launch their great brand as well as play a role in the revitalization of Detroit,” Seyferth said.
The client chose Y&R because it demonstrated an understanding of the evolution of casino gambling, said Nancy Ziolkowski, marketing vice president for the MGM Grand Detroit Casino. Casinos are tending to focus more on the entire entertainment experience instead of concentrating on just the gaming aspect, she said.
Ziolkowski said casino executives only looked at Detroit-based ad agencies. The city of Detroit, which approved the casinos after a long and heated debate among politicians, business interests and residents, has encouraged them to use as many city vendors as possible. As part of the licensing agreement, Detroit officials also are requiring that at least 51 percent of the casinos’ employees be city residents, Ziolkowski said.
The two other casinos have chosen agencies outside the city limits.
Circus Circus Enterprises, Las Vegas, selected Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich., as agency of record for its new Detroit facility, said John Marz, corporate vice president of marketing for the casino. Casino executives conducted an “extensive agency search” in the Detroit area, and Campbell-Ewald was “eager and had done their homework,” Marz said.
Circus Circus has recommended to its shareholders, who meet June 17, that its name be changed to Mandalay Bay Resort Group. The group’s Detroit casino is due to open in late summer, Marz said.
The third facility, the Greektown Casino, selected The Berline Group, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., as its agency of record after a review, said chairman Jim Berline. The shop has designed a logo and is putting together recruitment materials to help staff the facility. A consumer campaign is scheduled for midsummer and initially will target patrons within 75 miles of the casino, Berline said. Direct mail and database compilation will also play a big role, he added.