Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Rise of Millennials and Their Importance to the Future of Online Travel

If you haven’t heard the term “Millennial” yet, you may need to do some catching up to ensure you aren’t missing the boat on a generation that now outnumbers Baby Boomers. By 2020, Millennials are expected to account for $1.4 trillion in annual spending, and by 2025 to account for 46 percent of the nation’s income – the next economic powerhouse.


What makes Millennials different than other generations? They are truly “Internet natives.” According to a recent report based on data from Experian Marketing Services, Millennials are the “most diverse, informed and digitally connected” generation. Simply put: They spend a significant amount of time online and on social media. How much, you ask? Millennials “spend 35 hours a week with digital media,” compared to 32 hours with traditional media.


It is no surprise then that the most digitally connected generation may also be one of great marketing importance to those in the travel and tourism business – particularly online travel. According to Forrester Research, in 2013, 76 percent of U.S. online adult leisure travelers booked online. And eMarketer, an independent market research company, notes that individuals are spending more time online researching travel – with two-thirds of all travelers researching online before traveling. What’s more, with the number of travel bookings increasing on smartphones and tablets (up 121% and 48%, respectively, since Jan. 2013), coupled with data showing Millennials “use mobile most for travel content,” they make up a powerful, and growing, consumer segment for companies to consider as they develop marketing strategies to capitalize on this travel and tourism trend.

Sources: [The Wire, 5/23/14; Accenture, June 2013; MediaPost, 7/2/14; Forrester Research, 1/29/14; eMarketer, 6/8/12; Adobe, 5/23/14]

Marketing to the LGBT Community: Talk About Brand Loyalists

To some, the LGBT consumer is a “new” consumer demographic of affluent, educated and well-traveled people. R&R Partners has been marketing to the LGBT consumer since the late ’90s, so to us, they’re not new – more like old friends. Not only have they been an important part of our marketing mix for many years, but we have also put our legislative skills to work on successfully expanding the rights of LGBT couples in Nevada, where we’re based.


Our most high-profile LGBT ad campaigns have been crafted on behalf of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which recently included a tongue-in-cheek print campaign with the tagline, “Everyone’s invited. Even straight people.” Here is a look at our work as reported by Adweek, The Daily Beast, The New York Times and The Huffington Post below:

“We came to [LogoTV] and said, ‘We can organically be a part of this program,’” R&R SVP Fletcher Whitwell told Adweek of the LVCVA’s integration into RuPaul’s Drag Race-Season Six. RuPaul also talks about Las Vegas’ product placement and references the evolution of the Las Vegas brand. 

The Daily Beast asked David Paisley, senior research director at Community Marketing, for his thoughts on our LGBT work upon the release of a “What happens here, stays here” TV ad aimed at the LGBT viewer. “Vegas has done an incredible job at marketing themselves to the gay community,” said Paisley. “It’s spent far more money on LGBT media than any other gay destination out there. The biggest trend happening right now is that bars and major resorts are all doing a gay night,” he says. “Almost every major gay association out there has held its convention in Las Vegas over the last few years.” Added Arnie DiGeorge, R&R Partners executive creative director, on the goal of the spot, “The whole positioning is that Vegas doesn’t make any assumptions one way or the other. It’s the Mystery of Vegas. We don’t tell people how to feel.” Read more.


In a recent article in The New York Times on LGBT travel, both R&R’s print and broadcast work was lauded by Merryn Johns, editor in chief of Curve, a leading lesbian magazine.

And a few weeks ago, when the Supreme Court finally overruled Nevada’s same-sex marriage ban, Las Vegas burst into joyous celebration, here, and here.

R&R’s Fletcher Whitwell has a personal stake in the issue as well.

LGBT consumers are estimated at 5 to 7 percent of the U.S. population or roughly 16 million brand-conscious Americans.

To learn how you can command a stake in this $835 million market, please contact Fletcher directly at 702-318-4336 or

Building Brands Across Borders

We’re making our international debut with the opening of CMV/R&R Partners in Mexico City. CEO Billy Vassiliadis made the announcement during a keynote address entitled “Translating Success – Learning to Do Business Across Cultures” at Austin’s BonusMX@ATX, a forum for creative industry executives in the United States and Mexico. It marked a long-anticipated move by our agency into Latin America, and represents our fourth new office in six years.

“The borderless economy is here and now,” Vassiliadis said. “When you look at American brands like Microsoft, Pfizer and Walmart, which are well-established in Mexico, you’re seeing how 20 years of NAFTA have helped erase many of the old trade barriers. Mexico is now the world’s 11th largest GDP and has a tech-savvy middle class that embraces the “Made in USA” label. The potential for U.S. companies to benefit can’t be overstated.”







But why now? Just like in effective advertising, timing is key. When it came down to deciding whether to invest resources into an emerging international market with CMV, a full-service agency with clients ranging from Pfizer to Birkenstock, Vassiliadis and the rest of the agency brass felt like it was the perfect time – following suit with our expansion model to seek opportunities driven by markets with growth potential, such as our offices in Los Angeles, Austin and Denver.

Additionally, the components are in place: Technology is on the rise. Positive political reforms and deregulation of energy, financial and telecommunication industries have created opportunities. The GDP growth rate in Mexico is outpacing Eurozone countries. And from an economic standpoint, Mexico and the U.S. are more parallel than perpendicular these days.

In his report, “Working Together: Economic Ties Between the United States and Mexico,” Christopher Wilson of The Mexico Institute, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars explains: “Mexico and the United States are no longer competitors, where one country wins and the other loses. They are partners. The Mexican and U.S. economies are now as deeply integrated as any on Earth.”

they are partners






A partnership with CMV and entry into Mexico City makes perfect sense. Sure, the stats figure into the equation – 53.6 percent of the U.S. Hispanic population lives in the Southwest, where we have the strongest presence, and nearly one in eight U.S. Hispanics lives in a city where we have an office. And we have plenty of experience conducting business in Mexico over the past decade, and more with our work with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Western Union, the 2012 G20 Summit and more.

There are other factors, too. The move will also yield more opportunities at home. This partnership gives us a better vehicle to create an authentic voice and vision to first- and second-generation Hispanic consumers in the U.S.

But ultimately, this bold move is about two things: the opportunities, and teaming with the right people. We’ve found that our partnership with CMV grew out of the recognition that our two agencies share a similar passion for tackling tough issues, developing creative work and having a strong internal culture of excellence. And sharing that passion across borders is something we can’t wait to accomplish together.