Advertisement

Digital age presents new meaning for Las Vegas’ slogan

Bookmark this
January 07, 2020 By Bailey Schulz

When Las Vegas first unveiled its “What Happens Here, Stays Here” slogan in 2003, it was much easier for tourists to keep their trip under wraps.

Today, it’s a different story. The majority of visitors come with smart phones equipped with social media apps like Twitter and Facebook, which means sharing a photo or video from the Strip or a casino takes only seconds.

Even so, many believe the slogan remains relevant in today’s digital age, even if it means something different for younger generations.

“It still resonates because it’s part of the (Las Vegas) culture,” said Billy Vassiliadis, CEO of R&R Partners, the advertising company that created the slogan with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “In the best case, the slogan is the icon (of Las Vegas). In the worst case, it’s memorable, even if it may not be totally applicable to a younger generation.”

Generational differences

Vassiliadis said the slogan is interpreted differently by each generation. Baby Boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — tend to take the slogan more literally, while Gen Xers — those born between 1965 and 1980 — are more comfortable sharing their Las Vegas experiences online. According to Pew Research, 76 percent of Gen Xers used social media in 2019, while only 59 percent of Baby Boomers can say the same.

Meanwhile, millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996 — enjoy the slogan but don’t view it as a rule to follow, according to Vassiliadis.

“The slogan is not taken as literally by the millennial generation,” he said. “They understand that here, it’s their choice to share.”

No matter the age, David Schwartz, professor and gaming historian for UNLV’s libraries, said the slogan’s efforts to showcase Las Vegas as a fun, accepting destination still hold true.

“It’s not necessarily that people won’t find out what you did, but won’t judge what you did,” he said. “People publicize themselves a lot more now … (but the slogan is) still appropriate.”

Anthony Lucas, a professor of casino management at UNLV, believes the slogan can still make sense in the digital age.

“The two can coexist because … it’s tongue-in-cheek,” he said. “They know people will tell stories, but they’re trying to promote this idea of reckless abandonment.”

‘What happens here’

Vassiliadis said even if technology has shifted people’s perception of the slogan, the first half is still as relevant as ever.

“That’s the more important part of this slogan,” he said. “What happens here is a unique experience. … This is the only place that … allows you to fully be yourself, where there aren’t obligations or expectations.”

It’s been speculated that the city is getting ready to upgrade its mantra to “What Happens Here Only Happens Here.” Social media posts from the likes of Aerosmith and Shania Twain have alluded to the rollout of the new slogan on Jan. 26, but Vassiliadis did not confirm such plans. A LVCVA representative did not return a request for comment.

Lucas said it would be natural for the city to want to evolve its slogan.

“If you hang on too long, it appears dated,” he said. “(The possible change) seems to a be a little more in step with digital age.”

No matter what campaigns Las Vegas runs — be it “What happens here” or contextual campaigns like 2018’s “Only Vegas Moments,” Vassiliadis said the city will continue promoting adult freedom.

“The essence of all of our work is adult freedom,” he said. “The right to choose your experience and experience the freedom you want. … ‘What happens here’ encapsulates that.”


Recent Articles

NFL Draft would close Las Vegas Strip for 3 days, source says

NFL Draft would close Las Vegas Strip for 3 days, source says

in Future Las Vegas, News

The 2020 NFL draft is set to be one of the biggest events in Las Vegas’ rich history and is expected to produce the most significant closure of Las Vegas Boulevard to date.

January 18, 2020 By Mick Akers

4 bizarre ways people avoided paying taxes

4 bizarre ways people avoided paying taxes

in News

One way or another, most Americans are expected to pay taxes. Tax avoidance might be legal, but tax evasion constitutes a serious crime. Do it, and you’ll likely end up paying a tax penalty.

January 14, 2020 By Stacey Bumpus

Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand sold to Blackstone in $4.6B deal

Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand sold to Blackstone in $4.6B deal

in Future Las Vegas

A few months after it bought the Bellagio for more than $4 billion, The Blackstone Group has partnered on a deal to acquire two other Strip properties for even more.

January 14, 2020 By Eli Segall

Titanic exhibit at Luxor in Las Vegas adds 108 new artifacts

Titanic exhibit at Luxor in Las Vegas adds 108 new artifacts

in News

When the unsinkable ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic, a 39-year-old passenger named William Henry Allen was one of the more than 2,200 on board.

January 13, 2020 By Janna Karel

Advertisement

Must Read Articles

Flat-rate fares for taxi rides from McCarran to Strip take effect

Flat-rate fares for taxi rides from McCarran to Strip take effect

in News

Flat rate rides between McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas resort corridor kicked in Friday, about two weeks earlier than planned.

December 23, 2019 By Mick Akers

Canadian visitor wins more than $750K at Pahrump casino

Canadian visitor wins more than $750K at Pahrump casino

in News

A Canadian visitor left Nevada with a smile after winning a big jackpot at a Pahrump casino.

January 13, 2020 By Damon Seiters

Ice cream-themed bar with roof deck coming to downtown Las Vegas

Ice cream-themed bar with roof deck coming to downtown Las Vegas

in News

Plans are underway to replace the formerly adjacent Beauty Bar and Don’t Tell Mama in downtown Las Vegas with two distinctly themed venues: An old-fashioned ice cream parlor and a Parisian-decorated theater room and playhouse.

December 23, 2019 By Shea Johnson

Advertisement