Las Vegas is not exactly the most soulful place on Earth.
To Hooray Agency, which just picked up the Resorts World Las Vegas account, that’s an open door to brand differentiation. Hooray plans to emphasize the more soulful side of the Vegas resort experience, while tapping into humankind’s desires for over-the-top hospitality, experiences and entertainment.
This comes as Las Vegas itself is subtly rebranding from a "Hangover" style "What happens here, stays here" kind of place to the more gentle tagline of "What happens here only happens here."
"You don’t associate soul with Las Vegas, but that is what it was lacking," said Steven Seghers, president at Hooray Agency, based in Irvine, Calif. "We wanted to get beyond the schtick of Vegas purely being about sex, drugs and rock-and-roll...It’s been a successful paradigm, but we wanted to get beyond it."
Resort World operates casinos in the Northeast, including Resorts World Catskills, Resorts World NYC and properties across key Asian markets. The brand is part of the Genting Group, a Malaysian company with businesses across travel and hospitality, including Crystal Cruises and Maxims, scientific research, energy and agriculture.
Seghers added that Hooray had been selected in part because of the multinational nature of its employees. Hooray operates a field team in Hong Kong and boasts deep roots in luxury tourism. Accounts include two of California’s tourism grand jewels, Ventana Big Sur resort and the world-renowned Pebble Beach golf course.
As for Resorts World Las Vegas, the first challenge for Hooray will be to position the relatively unknown brand to U.S. consumers. The task will be additionally nuanced by the fact that the multi-hotel Resorts compound will feature escalating levels of Hiltons, a Hilton, a Conrad and a high-end LXR.
"We want consumers to resonate with Resorts World," said Seghers. "Right now we are working with a clean slate. There is no identity behind the Resorts World brand here and that is what we are going to craft."
Besides Asian hospitality, Resorts World is known for "a deeply ingrained sense of entertainment" and an enveloping "grand intimacy," said Seghers.
Once the positioning is articulated, the Hooray team will start creating advertising for corporate group sales and then consumer pre-opening campaigns this fall.
The Hooray and Resorts World team is also planning an activation around the 2020 NFL Draft, taking place in Las Vegas in April.