LVCVA New Ad Campaign: Leave Children at Home When Adults Visit Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA)  debuted a new television advertising campaign this week. The marketing initiative encourages parents to leave their kids at home while visiting Las Vegas.

Kate Wik, chief marketing officer for the LVCVA, pictured above. She explained the desire for adults to have fun in Las Vegas. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

In one of the spots, a middle-aged father pretends to be reading a bedtime story to his young son dressed in pajamas. The father claims that “the most popular food in Las Vegas” is broccoli. “That’s the only food they have. Everything is broccoli.” He tells his son Vegas is full of broccoli pancakes and broccoli ice cream.

The ad continues with the father telling the boy that there are many dentist offices on Las Vegas’ main thoroughfare. Children in Las Vegas regularly visit these dentists, he added.

The boy then tells his father he doesn’t want to go to Las Vegas with his parents. The father pretends to be disappointed but appears thrilled.

The ad ends with the message: “You can bring your kids to Las Vegas, but why would you?”

Changes Coming to Vegas

The timing of the ad campaign comes as some of the downtown casinos, including the El Cortez Hotel & Casino and the Circa Resort & Casino, are now restricted to those 21 and older.

It also comes as children nationwide are back at school. They no longer learn remotely at home, as was the case during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ad campaign stresses that adults can now have some fun on their own.

“Their desire for travel is at an all-time high,” LVCVA Chief Marketing Officer Kate Wik told KSNV, a Las Vegas-based TV station. “And we are here to give them that opportunity to get away. To escape. We’re giving them permission to have a little bit of fun again.”

Family-Friendly Vegas

During the 1990s, Vegas attempted to brand itself as “family-friendly.” During this period, Vegas constructed family-oriented attractions and a concerted advertising effort by some properties to target families.

The Excalibur Hotel and Casino was built in 1990 around its infamous castle theme, with the hopes of attracting families, according to research from UNLV. During that time, The New York Times wrote that the new resort is  “The latest ‘theme resort’ to open in Las Vegas, part of a trend by giant casino operators to create a family atmosphere.”

In 1993, a theme park inspired by Disney’s MGM Studios opened next to the MGM. It was themed after the Wizard of Oz.

But, in 2003, the LVCVA seemed to distance itself from the family appeal. That year, it debuted its “What happens here, stays here” campaign, which focused on adult experiences.

Today’s Las Vegas still has entertainment options for families with children. A new Disney exhibit is to open early next year on the Strip. It’s called the Disney Animation Immersive Experience.

Violence Strikes Vegas

The new ads follow recent stabbings, shootings, and other violent crimes on the Las Vegas Strip and in downtown areas, such as along Fremont Street. The crime has gotten national attention.

Last week, along the Strip, one man was killed by a brick near the Mandalay Bay casino. In a second incident near the Wynn casino, two victims were stabbed and died. Six other victims were injured from the knifings, but are likely to survive.

That violence follows a deadly June 19 shooting at the Fremont Street Experience. One man passed away from his wounds. An innocent bystander was injured, too.

Local officials are hopeful the violence won’t negatively impact tourism to Las Vegas.

Clark County Commissioner Richard “Tick” Segerblom, who represents part of the Strip, told KSNV these are random acts of violence. He complimented the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) and noted the presence of security guards at casino hotels.

We’re doing everything we can,” Segerblom said. “But these random acts, unfortunately, occurred a couple of times, but we’re hopeful that that was the last one.”

Meanwhile, the LVMPD has upped its presence on the Strip since the stabbings.

“The LVMPD takes the safety of Las Vegas locals and tourists very seriously,” Metro said in a recent statement to KSNV. “In light of Thursday’s incident, we have increased the number of officers on the Strip. We will continue to work closely with private security to ensure the safety of the public.”

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