One of the byproducts of the coronavirus pandemic is a mass movement to work from home. Videoconferences have become the norm for most workplaces, yet there are ways to inject a bit of happiness into an otherwise bleak crisis.
As Zoom becomes the preferred home for workplace meetings, many groups are staying on the platform for post-work drinks as well. Happy hours, drinking games and cocktail parties are all taking place via Zoom.
In Las Vegas, R&R Partners wants to make sure the city defined by partying is still front and center, even when the party is digital. To that end, the agency created a landing page of high-quality videos and still images on the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s site to use for the ubiquitous platform.
“Everyone is working from home, and Zoom is taking over,” said Arnie DiGeorge, evp at R&R Partners, a Vegas agency best known for creating the city’s iconic slogan. “People are doing virtual happy hours and at-home parties, so we wanted to insert Vegas in any way we could just to make things more fun for people at home.”
Locations include the Fountains at Bellagio, Fremont Street, the Strip and more Vegas landmarks. A lot of Vegas’ other tourist stops are also moving online. Cirque Du Soleil is creating virtual experiences through CirqueConnect, Insomnia is running replays of the Electronic Daisy Carnival (EDC), a massive dance festival held in Vegas and the Mob and Neon Museums are allowing people to explore their exhibits online.
For agencies, COVID-19 poses a unique challenge. Unemployment is skyrocketing, everyone is suddenly working from home and the stock market can’t make up its mind. In Las Vegas, one of the brightest streets in the U.S. went dark over 48 hours. For a city built on tourism and massive public gatherings, COVID-19 is hitting hard.
“This is the first time something has happened to Vegas quite like this,” said DiGeorge. “The 2008 recession, 9/11, One October all slowed down the town or were tragic, but [COVID-19] combines the tragedy of losing lives with a big economic impact.”
To craft Vegas’ response to the pandemic, R&R Partners created “Only You.” The goal is to show that Vegas still puts the consumer first, even when the casinos are dark.
While that central spot needed to come out quickly, the agency is also leveraging Vegas influencers across social media. Social posts are coming out from athletes, chefs, musicians and a magician. One concern going in was making sure “Only You” didn’t come across as out-of-touch, the reason why other celebrity videos have been lampooned on social media recently.
“We didn’t want to make it all giant celebrities. We wanted it to be like the town is,” said DiGeorge. “We wanted to capture the variety of what you will see in Vegas. We also wanted to make sure they were doing stuff for people in their homes. That could be a workout, how to make a new cocktail, learning a magic trick or anything else people can participate in. We are all going through it; this is the time when you get human, not overthink as much, and just create what you feel.”
For Vegas, economic recessions hit especially hard, and the fallout can last for years. While Zoom and virtual reassurances aren’t ideal, Vegas is holding on to the city’s reputation for where Americans come to party. Once COVID-19 finally passes, the country will undoubtedly be ready for a celebration.