During the opening ceremonies of the 2016 Rio Olympics, The Venetian (one of Las Vegas’ luxury resorts) rolled out its new quirky ad campaign titled “Come As You Are”. The commercial played in key markets, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Dallas, and New York. The campaign also includes a few print ads, which will run in publications including Vanity Fair, Condé Nast Traveler, and Food & Wine.
The thirty-second commercial is quite unusual for a hotel brand. Instead of focusing on the hotel several amenities, the quirky ad shows the unique personalities of guests long before they arrive at the hotel. The colorful cast shows a woman with a large collection of watches and cuckoo clocks, a couple who has several dogs and enjoys wearing all white clothing, and a woman who enjoys paddling a boat across her swimming pool. The commercial ends with the characters all gathering their luggage, then The Venetian logo appears. The ad seems to be more likely a clothing ad than an ad for a hotel. The only thing other than the logo at the end that indicates that this commercial was for the Venetian is the vintage Italian music that plays throughout the commercial.
This campaign was created by a Los Angeles based agency called Zambezi and was directed and photographed by Autumn De Wilde. The Venetian’s chief marketing officer Lisa Marchese, who has previously worked in top marketing for The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas for the past five years, led the campaign. Lisa Marchese said, “The campaign embraces this trend of being likeable, inclusive and most importantly, interesting rather than self-important.”The Venetian marketing campaign is going against the grain of typical luxury brands. The CEO of Zambezi, Chris Raih, shared a similar sentiment, “If you look at any advertising on the strip, other hotel properties are asking you to buy into something, to alter yourself to fit some convention. This work is a rally cry for the individual, for that person who defines themselves on their own terms”. The “Come as You Are Campaign” is trying to change the idea of luxury by making guests feel inclusive. Marchese stated, “There’s just a lot of luxury product in Las Vegas and so for us, we thought there was this gap in the market around [. . .] yes, we are still luxury, but we can be optimistic, inclusive, really likeable and celebrate the guests that are coming to Las Vegas.”
*This post was edited by Linchi Kwok.