Y&R Relaxes In Casino Spa

Shop Brings Rejuvenated Spirit to MGM Grand Ads
SAN FRANCISCO–Young & Rubicam breaks a new TV, print and outdoor campaign for the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino this week promoting the Las Vegas property’s brand new spa complex.
The work will break first in the Las Vegas area, but is planned to roll out to select national markets over the next several months.
The campaign is the San Francisco shop’s first major effort from creative director Stephen Creet, who joined this summer from BBDO Canada. Creet replaced Peter Angelos, who left in February to become executive creative director at TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco.
Creet and Y&R are also working to wrap up a branding campaign for the MGM Grand that will run nationally in early 1999, according to agency president and chief executive officer Austin McGhie. The agency picked up the client’s estimated $20 million global account in June, following a review [Adweek, June 22].
“This is an exciting and very competitive time to be doing work for a client like MGM,” said McGhie. “The whole paradigm for Las Vegas advertising is changing. Ads are moving away from focusing on the craziness of Vegas–flashing lights, girls in short dresses and so on–and are instead going upmarket.”
One of Y&R’s three new 30-second spots opens with an “embryo” of orange gossamer, moving and growing in size to the eerie sound of Middle Eastern chanting and musical instruments. Cursive text that pops up around the shifting object reads: “You swam in a gentle current for nine months of your life.” From the gossamer, a young, beautiful, naked woman emerges, and swims toward the top of the screen. The word “return” appears below the swimming figure. The spot ends with the words “The MGM Grand Spa” in bold white text on a black background.
Another spot opens with a shot of a woman’s arm slowly rising up from dark water. Floating text reads, “You’ll be happy to know, we don’t rush your out of body experience.” A naked woman then rises from the water and drifts up upward.
The spots were filmed underwater by Peter Romano and directed by Howard Schatz. Two of them will air on TV, with the third to appear only inside the hotel itself.
The campaign is sexy and elegant, two words that may not have been associated with Y&R San Francisco’s advertising in recent years, according to McGhie. The agency handles work for clients such as Chevron gasoline, Golden Grain’s Rice-a-Roni and The Clorox Co.’s Brita filters.
“There was a time when I didn’t go out of my way to show people our reel,” McGhie said. “It wasn’t bad work, but on the whole it wasn’t anything spectacular. We’ve been undergoing significant changes here lately, and more so now that Stephen Creet is with us. I think this new work for MGM shows how we get better each time we go out these days.”

Publish date: October 26, 1998 https://stage.adweek.com/brand-marketing/yr-relaxes-casino-spa-28823/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT