MGM Resorts Receives Criticism For Exploiting Vegas Shootings In New Ad
MGM Resorts launched its ‘Welcome to the Show’ marketing campaign in September to transform its image from being just a casino provider to being the top provider in the world when it came to ‘entertainment’.
The company launched marketing ads across television, social and digital media to showcase its non-gaming attractions and used catchy phrases such as ‘The World’s leading producer of OMG’ ‘We are in the Holy Sh*t’ to attract millennials to its properties as they are more interested in entertainment than traditional casino games.
MGM was forced to pause its marketing campaign in light of the October 1 shootings in Las Vegas. Stephen Paddock who stayed at the Mandalay Bay hotel which is owned by MGM Resorts opened fire from his hotel room on the 32nd floor and killed 58 people and injured more than 500.
MGM decided to come up with a new marketing campaign called ‘Together We Shine’ which featured a different set of phrases that were created to show the strength and resilience of Las Vegas. The marketing campaign has ‘This Little Light of Mine’ sung by Odetta and uses phrases such as ‘Together we rise’, ‘Together we shine’ and ‘Together, we are one’. As the ad comes to a close, a #VegasStrong hashtag is seen.
There are a group of people who have taken offense to the fact that MGM Resorts is using the #VegasStrong hashtag and the Vegas shootings to sway public sentiment. They believe it is wrong for the casino operator to use the tragedy in its marketing campaign to try and fill hotel rooms and get people to visit MGM properties.
Lili Tomovich, MGM Resorts chief experience and marketing officer chose not to focus on the negative feedback and said
We created this spot to reflect the strength and resilience of Las Vegas, of MGM Resorts, of Mandalay Bay and of all of our employees. The response to the message has been overwhelmingly positive. It reinforces our promise to the world that we’ll remain strong and united in the face of adversity
Marketing analysts believe that it is not surprising that there are some who feel that MGM is exploiting the Vegas shootings. This is because there is a segment out there who remain suspicious about the October 1 shootings, as a number of questions have surfaced for which no answers have been given. MGM Resorts cannot go back to its ‘Welcome to the Show’ campaign immediately as there are still victims from the shooting in critical care.
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