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MONDAY RADIO COMMERCIAL SMACKDOWN: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

The spot opens with, “Wishing you could get away for a mini-vacation?” That certainly could be the premise of a commercial for a Las Vegas resort. But after asking the question, they don’t do anything to deliver on its implied promise.

“Here’s a little secret exclusive for our K-EARTH listeners. MGM Hotel & Casino has it all….”

Actually, I swear the guy is saying “had” it all. But that doesn’t make sense. It’s more likely that my hearing ability has deteriorated than that the copywriter or voiceover performer accidentally wrote or said “had” instead of “has” — and that no one at the radio station caught it.

Where was I? Oh, yeah:

“Here’s a little secret exclusive for our K-EARTH listeners. MGM Grand Hotel & Casino has it all….”

That’s not a secret, and it’s certainly not exclusive for K-EARTH listeners.

Saying that something is exclusive for your listeners when it’s not is what we in the radio advertising biz call “not true.”

“Treat yourself to a massage at the spa.”

Gee, a Vegas hotel with a spa? Hard to believe. And the spa offers massages? Unheard of.

“See an award-winning show.”

SHE: We never do anything fun any more.

HE: How about seeing an award-winning show?

SHE: What a great idea! Honey, I love you!

TOGETHER: Thanks, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino!

Here Comes The Clue Train:

If you want people to attend your award-winning show, tell them the name of the show or performer.

“But the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino has a number of different shows, and they might change from one week to the next.”

Yeah, so? Either do the work needed to create the spot that sells the show, or don’t waste your breath and the listeners’ time talking about it.

“Indulge yourself in any of the 15 restaurants.”

Indulge myself? Oh, you mean eat food?

15 restaurants? Doesn’t sound particularly inviting to me. Sounds like a gigantic, impersonal place. But by golly, “15 restaurants” is on that list of bullet points, so….

“Oh, and the room accommodations? Wow, where do I start?”

Well, you could start by noticing that no one you know ever comes back from a mini-vacation and refers to their “room accommodations.” Never.

HE: How about staying at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino?

SHE: Hmm, I don’t know. What are their room accommodations like?”

And apparently the announcer never did figure out “where to start,” because she didn’t say anything at all about the “room accommodations” — other than to imply that the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino has some.

“Exclusive package offers won’t last long.”

Hey, they met the “not true” standard twice in just six words:

1. We’ve already established that the offers are not exclusive.

2. The “special offers” probably will be featured on the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino’s website for years.

“I tried radio advertising, and it didn’t work….”

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  • Billy December 29, 2008, 6:20 am

    This reminds me of an incident that happened shortly after I attended your seminar in Des Moines back in the early 90s, Dan.

    I wrote a spot for a local shoe store in our dying downtown area. I thought it was a pretty clever spot… two shoes discussing what kind of foot they prefer, and why they were happy to be in this particular shoe store.

    We played it for the owner and he looked like someone was holding a cat turd under his nose.

    “I don’t want that crap, shoes talking to each other,” he said. “People will come into the store and make fun of me.”

    I said, “Yes! But they will be IN your STORE! And you can blame it on that wacky guy at the radio station…”

    “No, I don’t want people making fun of me. I want the commercial to sound like every other shoe store commercial.”

    He insisted on a standard, generic, “Get your shoes at Dipshit’s Shoe World” spot. And since he was a paying customer, that’s what he got.

    Several weeks later, he canceled with the station, saying “Radio advertising doesn’t work.”

    So, it’s not always the radio station’s fault.

  • Joe King December 29, 2008, 11:06 am

    “As one who lived in Vegas for 5 years, other than individual restaurants and clubs, I had never heard a radio commercial for a major casino while living there.”

  • David Luscher December 29, 2008, 11:23 am

    "I've heard a few on KJUL 104.7 but mostly for the Station casinos or Arizona Charlie’s (none are strip properties). By the way, I’ve stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and in my opinion it is “a gigantic, impersonal place”. But that’s just me….."

  • S!ick December 29, 2008, 1:07 pm

    More and more, account executives write copy…so I suspect it was written by one. Too much time can be spent getting the client, their money, pushing-out the production…and getting another client (and their money). Sometimes not enough time is spent on making sure what is aired is acceptable to the client as well as the listeners.

    Commercials that can be dismissed serve no one…especially the client, producers, and listeners.

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