New ‘What happens here, stays here’ ads hit airwaves

After a two-year hiatus, the highly touted “What Happens Here, Stays Here” ad series is being relaunched to promote Las Vegas.

Hip Hop

What's happening?

VEGAS INC coverage

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority began rolling out two new “What happens here, stays here” television advertisements this week, investing between $10 million and $15 million in network and cable media buys.

The “What happens here” TV ads, the centerpiece of one of the world’s most successful destination marketing campaigns, went on a two-year hiatus during the peak of the recession while the LVCVA focused on more aggressive campaigns instead of using the less direct brand-building spots.

One of the new ads launches a parallel “What happens here” campaign that will encourage people to share their adventures in Las Vegas on social media while reminding them to “know the code” by preserving the “What happens here, stays here” mantra.

The first “know the code” spot, titled “What’s happening?” uses subtle Las Vegas product placement techniques while showing a visitor shunned by friends for sharing too much about their Las Vegas adventures.

The parallel campaign incorporates an interactive Internet microsite that enables visitors to report people who break the “What happens here, stays here” code of silence and get a certificate for knowing the code.

The other spot, titled “Hip Hop,” is a more conventional “What happens here” ad with a blend of storyline and humor.

The new spots began airing on 15 cable networks, including three ESPN channels, Food, Travel Channel, Bravo, TBS and Comedy Central, as well as in the top Las Vegas markets of Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, San Francisco and Dallas.

The “What happens here” slogan, created by R&R Partners, the LVCVA’s longtime advertising and marketing consultant, is among those in the running for inclusion on the Madison Avenue Advertising Walk of Fame. The slogan is among 20 under consideration in a popularity contest that ends Sept. 30.

The LVCVA opted two years ago to temporarily discontinue production of “What happens here” ads and focus on other campaigns to aggressively boost visitation while the economy was slumping. The other campaigns have been targeted campaigns, like the summer’s “Life is short, summer’s shorter” campaign to persuade people to book an immediate trip to Las Vegas.

During the two-year hiatus, visitation has improved, with 17 consecutive months of increased visitation over the previous year. Between January and July, occupancy rates have been up 6.2 percent, the average daily room rate has climbed 10.1 percent, convention attendance is up 4.4 percent and gaming revenue is up 5.4 percent.

Other “What happens here” ads are in the production pipeline with one featuring Cee Lo Green from “The Voice” due to air in the next few months.

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Discussion 8 comments

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  1. Great ad! This is funny! Great ad! This should catch on! Funny stuff.

  2. Maybe, all joking aside on ads for Las Vegas, we should enact a real code of silence in, "What happens here, stays here". For, the visitors who come to our destination, these tourists can't be thrilled to have solicitors on the sidewalks of the strip that are in their faces, pelting them with seedy based advertisements in almost every other step they take. Tourists can't be thrilled when they pay a premium rate to stay and play in our beautiful resorts on the strip, but are subjected to homeless people setting up camp right at the borderline of hotel private property. Tourists also can't be thrilled at the eye sores of the permanently unfinished structures that intermittently line the strip. Come on, LVCVA! It's great to have a slogan to bring visitors in, but it's just as important that visitors say good things about Vegas and return here. Although the problems listed above are not your agencies fault, I'm am certain you could use just a tad of your advertising expenditures to put public pressure on our elected county officials. They set in either a watch mode of legal entanglements, or an idle mode doing absolutely nothing to fix the problems that plague our number one local industry and resource.

  3. Mr. Chapline.

    I understand what you are saying but honestly, what do you think the LVCVA or the County can do about homeless or the card slappers?

    The great thing about this country is we have a lot of rights but the bad thing seems to be for some is those rights pertain to everyone. We can not pick and choose who stays and who goes.

    You can bet your life that the LVCVA would love to see all homeless, street people and card slappers off the strip but how do you go about doing it?

    I am sure that they and the hotel owners are open to legal thoughtful idea's on how to fix this problem.

  4. An excellent reply "vegaslee". However, the county commissioners can remedy the Las Vegas strip of eye sores such as Fontainebleau and the skelton frame of Echelon. They, the county commissioners, might have a valid excuse concerning MGM's Harmon Tower. As far as the "card slappers" and the homeless are concerned, county commissioners should adopt amendments to the law, within constitutional guidelines to rid the Las Vegas strip of these pests. This is an instrumental part of their jobs and the high rate of salary that they receive at tax payer expense. The county commissioners do not answer e-mails from just average citizens like myself. My whole point was, maybe the LVCVA could do just a tad of advertising that would put these local politicans into not only a working mode, but producing successful resolutions. Once again "lasvegaslee", thank you for an intelligent, thought provoking reply.

  5. Main problem is the county commissioners can not amend the U.S. constitution. Way above their pay grade.

    As far as the projects that are stopped due to the lack of business that is private property. They have to be very careful when trying to tell a private property owner what they will do. The owners of those properties have the same rights you and I do when it comes to our homes.

    I have never had a problem receiving answers from our elected officials in the county or city. Since I live in the city the elected county officials have no real reason to answer me but they always do. I guess it may depend on the subject matter and how is approached.

    The job of the LVCVA is to promote Las Vegas and not get involved in politics. Hopefully they keep doing their job and not playing with those that we elect. It is our job to put heat on our elected officials. ;-)

  6. Your latest statements Mr. Lee is not in line with my previous comments. I said, county commissioners should work towards creating legislation and voting to enact laws that are within, "Constitutional guidelines". Let me spell it out for you since I'm having a slow day. Mayor Oscar Goodman was faced at one time with the same vagrancy and trash peddlers at the Fremont Street Experience. He was smart enough to find a loophole in the law that did not give the same rights to these pests that our tourists surely do deserve. The cover of the Fremont Street Experience and the business owners paying a share of that community entertainment allowed Mayor Goodman legally to clear and move away these pests from the heart of the casino business district. I'd like to see how you would react if I moved a vagrant in to the property right next door to you and told him its okay to trash the place, harass your neighbors on the public sidewalk, and to make sure your entire neighborhood stinks. I bet you wouldn't have the same opinion about rights as you do now. End result, Oscar Goodman, a successful, respected politician. Our county commissioners, not so well thought of. Very simple, one is successful, the other isn't. And, finally, those commercials to be aired by the LVCVA? Stupid. A waste of more of our money.

  7. One other item of note, BChap and vegaslee: The LVCVA board of directors, which sets policy, is comprised of elected officials and representatives of the resort community. Clark County and the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite and Boulder City are represented as are Caesars Entertainment, Wynn Resorts, MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming.

  8. Saw the ads today. Very nice: creative and got me to pay attention to them. I was surprised how the ads were pitched to the twenty-somethings where the older What Happens Here ads were more tailored to forty year olds. In any case - good ads!