R&R is currently looking for a creative director to run the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority account. In the past, we have used recruiters, ads, LinkedIn, etc. This time, we wanted to try something different. The traditional route just wasn’t as fun anymore. We want to kick over some rocks and really get candidates to interact with us with some passion.
So we’re having a contest of sorts and asking candidates to send in their idea for the next stage of What happens here, stays here® with sneakers as the vehicle. Why sneakers? Well, I happen to love sneakers. They are my passion. I have over 150 pairs. They’re kind of in my DNA. I’ve been here 20 years, so in this case, at least – I consider my personal brand to be an R&R truth as well. And I think that good taste in sneakers is a sign that you may have good taste in other things − like ideas.
We put the contest out there with large stickers on the ground outside agencies in LA and Chicago, trade publications, two videos, a poster, Instagram, and a mailer featuring a 3-D-printed sole inside some plain white Converse All-Stars.
We have more than 50 candidates who have signed the agreement to send us entries. Now, we’re just waiting for the fun to begin. The mix of traditional candidates and sheer creatives is already peaking our interest as to what we will get. It’s a very exciting way to start the new chapter of work for our biggest client.
Watch for more as shoes or virtual shoes make their way to our shores.
Strengthening our client partnerships while expanding our unique service offering and driving overall agency growth have always been a priority for R&R Partners. Over the last year, we have renewed our long-standing partnerships with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Utah Transit Authority (UTA), NV Energy and Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), and diversified our relationship with MGM Resorts International. Additionally, we have welcomed to our roster MGM National Harbor, M life Rewards, Falken Tires, Small Town Brewery, La Brea Bakery, Allegiant Air, AAA Texas Auto Insurance and Avnet, just to name a few. In Mexico, CMV/R&R has welcomed Posadas, Kimberly Clark Pétalo, Coca-Cola FEMSA, and the Yucatan Office of Congress and Conventions. It’s been an incredibly productive year and we look forward to supporting our clients’ continued successes and expanding our roster in 2016.
It’s that time of the year again – a special time that happens every December … but only in Las Vegas. (I bet you thought I was talking about Christmas!) I DEFINITELY don’t want to diminish the importance or the joy of Christmas, but December is also the time for our annual college football bowl game, the Las Vegas Bowl.
This year will celebrate the 24th year of the game. I worked on the inaugural game as a student assistant in the UNLV Athletic Department. Now, 24 years later, I am still involved as a member of the Las Vegas Bowl Executive Committee and fulfilling the dedicated sponsorship for the LVCVA.
I am not sure people realize how important the game is to Las Vegas, which is why Rossi Ralenkotter, LVCVA president and CEO, and Rob Dondero, R&R Partners executive vice president, chased the game back in 1991. What motivates travel more than loyal college football fans the week before Christmas? Since the inaugural game in 1992 to last year’s game, the Las Vegas Bowl has generated an estimated $252,201,800 of non-gaming economic impact (that is food/lodging/entertainment) to Las Vegas during a time that’s typically a weaker travel period due to the holiday season. The Las Vegas Bowl has claimed seven sellouts in nine years between 2005 and 2013. Also, this will mark the third year in a row that the Las Vegas Bowl will be broadcast on ABC, showcasing Las Vegas to millions of viewers.
Some “Las Vegas Bowl firsts” that I think will be a surprise to most people: In 1995, Toledo and Nevada played in what was the first ever overtime bowl game in the Division 1 FBS level. The Las Vegas Bowl has claim to the FIRST WOMAN to play in an FBS-level game when Katie Hnida of the University of New Mexico entered the game to attempt an extra point. Sadly, it was blocked. In 2013, the game featured three scoring plays of 98 yards or longer and was the first bowl game in history that included a kickoff return to start each half.
And, you might just recognize a few of these names − he’s now known for being in Beast Mode and loving his Skittles, but Seattle Seahawks superstar running back Marshawn Lynch first gained fame in college when he was named MVP of the 2005 Las Vegas Bowl after rushing for three touchdowns and 199 yards for the Cal Bears. He won the Heisman Trophy the year AFTER playing in the 2001 Las Vegas Bowl: Arizona Cardinals QB Carson Palmer led his USC Trojans in the 2001 game against Utah. The world knows him as “Gronk,” but before Rob Gronkowski became a three-time Pro Bowl tight end, the future Super Bowl champion played right here in the Las Vegas Bowl as he helped his Arizona Wildcats earn a win over BYU in the 2008 edition. Before he became a 1,000-yard rusher in the NFL, Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin played right here in the Las Vegas Bowl, piling up 301 all-purpose yards and two scores while helping his Boise State Broncos defeat Arizona State in 2011.
So, while you deck the halls and trim the tree, don’t forget to make the Las Vegas Bowl a part of your December tradition!! This year’s game will be Saturday, Dec. 19, at 12:30 p.m. PT (3:30 p.m. ET) at Sam Boyd Stadium. The 24th Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl will be televised nationally on ABC, featuring BYU against Utah — and with that matchup comes two more Las Vegas Bowl firsts — it marks both the first time “The Holy War” has been contested in the postseason, and the first time the Cougars and Utes have battled on a neutral site.
Being current with available media opportunities, market trends and consumer trends can play a major role in a marketing strategy. This month’s Trends & Insights will focus on a new media opportunity at the Fashion Show mall in Las Vegas, Pandora enhancing their application, green messaging in relation to a brand, markets with heaviest vehicle traffic, TUBI TV introduction and gambling habits of Millennials.
LAS VEGAS MEDIA PARTNER UPDATES
Fashion Show Mall
Fashion Show mall has unveiled a new media opportunity via the south entry above the main door and the south column. These will also be available at the north entrance as well. The plaza digital will have full-motion video and audio. There will also be additional formats available that are to be announced.
NATIONAL MEDIA PARTNER UPDATE
Pandora Will Be Acquiring Ticketfly and Big Sound
By acquiring Ticketfly, Pandora will be able to add event discovery to their arsenal. Nearly 80 million people nationwide use Pandora and it is the single most used app in the world. It anticipates this merger will enable promoters to sell out more shows.
“With its ability to identify and target specific fans, Pandora sold out 55,000 tickets for the recent Rolling Stones tour in 24 hours. The ability to sell tickets for lesser known acts is equally impressive. A Pandora pre-sale for ODESZA (an up-and-coming EDM act) blew through 25,000 tickets, including Ticketfly venues such as the 9:30 Club and Union Transfer, in minutes. Safe to say, Pandora is about to become a major player in ticketing.”
As both Pandora and Ticketfly are deeply data-driven, their recommendations will be improved for fans.
Quantify the relationship between social media and revenue.
Understand the impact of marketing and promotional events such as TV appearances, press interviews and new releases.
Drive marketing decisions for artists, managers, agents, publishers, promoters, labels and brands across the global music industry.
Deploy prediction algorithms to help identify high-potential artists at the earliest possible stage.
“Next Big Sound gathers social, sales and streaming data into one central platform. Sources include Facebook and Twitter, Wikipedia, artist websites, Spotify, YouTube and iTunes. To put this information into context, event data such as concerts, release dates, television appearances and press mentions are incorporated, as well as the rich demographic data that helps artists become better acquainted with their fan base.”
NATIONAL INDUSTRY UPDATES
H&M Promotes Sustainable Fashion Via Recycled Clothes
H&M is promoting “Together We Can Close The Loop,” a campaign message stating that any unwanted garments can be left in any of its 3,300 stores and be recycled into new clothes. This has opened the door for H&M to publically display its contribution to being socially responsible as well as being green. The company specifically details that recycling one T-shirt can save 2,100 liters of water. By providing one simple fact on its contribution to the enviornment, H&M has engaged messaging to the socially responsible consumer.
Worst Traffic in Cities = Best Out-of-Home Locations
The longer a message is displayed, the greater the chance a message can be received as one moves beyond it. Dwell time is the potential time a passerby may see a message. The average dwell time, according to multiple studies, is seven seconds, but that time will certainly be higher in markets with congested traffic.
Washington, D.C., comes in first with annual delay per auto commuter at 82 hours.
While there are no billboards along I-95, I-495 and I-66, there’s plenty of signage to be seen as traffic becomes congested.
Los Angeles is infamous for its traffic delays and comes in second at 80 hours yearly delay for commuters.
San Francisco/Oakland area comes in at 78 hours yearly delay for commuters.
New York is at 74 hours yearly delay for commuters.
The city is developing technology that will allow traffic signals to communicate with each other to make traffic more efficient.
Boston comes in fifth with 64 hours.
The roads are congested for nearly five hours per day.
Other large markets with long delays per commuter include:
San Jose at 67 hours annual delay per auto commuter
Riverside/San Bernadino at 59 hours annual delay per auto commuter
Austin at 52 hours annual delay per auto commuter
The city rolled out a $6.5 million project that will allow continuous flow intersections eliminating the light cycles that drivers sit through. Local officials anticipate 30 to 50 percent reduction in travel time.
Portland is at 52 hours annual delay per auto commuter
Denver annual delay per auto commuter
Its traffic is worst on the I-25 and I-70 in the morning and evening. Denver spent more than 91 million hours in rush hour traffic in 2014.
TUBI TV is a free video application on connected TV devices, mobile and the Web (includes Samsung, Roku, Apple store, Google play, XBOX ONE, Amazon fireTV). TUBI TV will have an expansive TV show and movie selection. This app will be coming to Apple TV in the near future.
It currently has 5.1 million monthly unique users, 57 million monthly streams and 20 million total app installations.
TUBI TV will have standard advertising (pre-roll and mid-roll/skippable) online ads. It will also has “Limited Commercial Interruptions Sponsored by” (sponsored tag opening billboard) options and “First Look” (postion A pod position in each commercial break).
Exclusive options will include long-form opt-in ads, survey ads and branded canvas ads.
TUBI TV will also have expansive tracking capabilities.
TUBI TV live is an upcoming feature that will allow sponsorships to be available across the entire platform or within verticals.
“State revenue from taxing gambling – from casinos, lotteries and racing – has been largely flat since the Great Recession, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Rockefeller Institute, which studies tax revenue.”
The research shows that casino gamblers are mainly of the elderly population. Millennials are looking for more of a social experience shared with friends and gambling doesn’t resonate as a fun leisure activity. Younger generations are making investments more toward non-gaming amenities compared to their predecessors.
“Only 51 percent said slot machines and video poker were their preferred form of gambling compared to 61 percent of all casino-goers.” When compared to the total population, younger clientele tend to favor crowd-friendly table games, which contribute less revenue than slots. The younger generations are trending to prefer games that have more direction and more choices at decision points.
Fantasy Football entities such as Draft Kings and FanDuel are extremely popular with the younger male audience and allow the wagering of real money. These types of games require decision-making and you have a chance to gain or lose your wagers over the course of the day.
Casinos are beginning to make hybrid games of chance and skill. Gregg Giuffria, CEO of G2 Game Design and former co-owner of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Biloxi, Mississippi, reported that his firm had solved the problem of melding a game of chance and skill.
With new hybrid games on the rise, new regulations are passed for these newly developed technologies.
“As the gaming industry seeks to roll out the new hybrid games, states are faced with drafting new regulations to govern them. Nevada passed a law earlier this year calling on the state’s Gaming Commission to develop regulations for hybrid games in casinos. New Jersey approved fantasy sports betting in casinos in 2013.”
Allen Godfrey, executive director of the Mississippi Gaming Commission, stated that any trend away from slots would ultimately hurt the state’s revenue from casinos. He said the commission is waiting for the industry to bring examples of the types of hybrid games innovators are talking about before setting any new regulations.
Giuffria noted that casinos around the country will have to integrate the hybrid games, otherwise revenue will continue to decline along with the income states receive that depend on that revenue.
Whether it’s being aware of local media opportunities, understanding the enhancement of an application, boosting your brand’s image or knowing consumer behavior, vigilance is the key.
After getting a glimpse into the impressive world of Techstars at their Demo Day on September 9, we were intrigued to hear what their feedback would be when eleven CEOs at Denver Startup Week pitched to them. Denver Startup Week is the largest free entrepreneurial event of its kind in North America, meant to showcase downtown Denver’s thriving culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. The fourth annual Denver Startup Week had over 10,000 attendees across 235 programs aimed at helping people succeed in starting and growing a business in Denver.
The R&R Partners team was lucky enough to register early and get there early for good seats to watch two week old businesses to well-established startups present in front of Techstars, an accelerator program notorious for producing successful startups. The eleven performances were honed through vigorous, candid, and extremely valuable “pitch practice.” The insightful feedback provided is recapped below and can be applied to any industry, any position, and for any public speaking event.
Have a strong intro that captures everyone’s attention and curiosity
Simplify what you’re saying but don’t use vague words
Simplify technical language or give real life/relatable examples if your audience isn’t on the same technical level
Make sure to state your key differentiator(s) in 2-3 sentences
Research the audience in advance to help predict the questions they might have so you can answer along the way
Even if you’re a comfortable presenter, practice it 25x
Story telling helps people who are not close to the product/industry relate to or understand in easier terms
Make sure the story line has structure and isn’t jumping around; don’t go off on a tangent
Speak to the whole room vs. the few decision makers
Notes – don’t make a scene trying to find where you should be in your notes or swiping/flipping through and don’t read directly from notes
Don’t keep the most important facts/statements until the end incase key people need to leave early or you meet your time limit
Have “crisp” answers to questions that show you know your industry and understood the question vs. over explaining
Assistant Media Planner/Buyer Katie Fischer co-authored this article.
I recently attended the Worldwide Partners Inc. (WPI) annual North America conference in Chicago. WPI is a network of independent agencies that have come together to leverage the thinking and resources of 70+ top independent agencies from across the globe. Besides R&R Partners, the network includes fine agencies like BSSP, Mering Carsen, Shipyard, Juice Pharma, Bailey Laurerman, just to name a few. In fact, collectively, WPI ranks No. 10 in terms of billings when compared to other large holding companies.
The conference really shed light on why being independent is really special and unique.
Our clients’ success is paramount – we are all-in for our clients. Creativity is at our core – typically with smaller budgets, we have to find efficient, yet effective and breakthrough solutions for our clients. We are also nimble and quick – structure and process exists, but isn’t a barrier to moving quickly in a fast-paced environment. We invest for our clients – we aren’t beholden to any holding company, so we do what’s right for our clients, not what’s in the best interest of our bottom line. And when needed, WPI agencies come together to scale up to meet the clients’ needs, whether it be geographical, resources or specialty areas.
Independence is at the core of R&R Partners. Our unique experiences and culture, coupled with our candor and empathy, deliver results for our clients. Clients that have been around 20+ years in most cases.
The WPI conference theme was Catalyst, and the diverse programming and content really stimulated some great thinking and new ideas. What follows are 12 things I learned this week:
Programmatic buying is a great way for publishers and clients to take advantage of real-time bidding and traffic spikes due to timely and topical events. But the key to programmatic buying is being transparent to clients, both delivery and cost.
Tongal, a creative, on-demand production studio, not only does great cost-efficient work, but a partner like Tongal could also serve as an alternative to freelancers or help supplement your social content program.
“Your vision is your creativity … but change requires gut and grit … you are the catalyst …” – Jen Spencer, the Humanity of Creativity.
Michael Farmer, author of Madison Avenue Manslaughter, shared with us that consultants have greater value than agencies, thanks most in part to holding company agencies who have squeezed margins so low. Consultants are keen on a desire for client results and shareholder value; meanwhile, holding company agencies are about their own bottom line. He believes big agency brands are becoming more and more irrelevant, and this is good for independent agencies who are similar to the consultant philosophy above.
Doug Wood of Reed Smith law firm has a site called legalbytes.com with interesting information on issues facing marketers today – bot fraud, patent trolls, native advertising, programmatic, etc. – all too technical for me to further expand upon.
Vertical networks, particularly in the B2B, but also in some B2C categories, make a lot of sense for clients and marketers. Spiceworks is the top network in IT; Doximity for doctors; Edmodo for educators; Showcase for marketing; just to name a few.
Forbes has put forward the road map for managing, systematizing and optimizing the marketing content supply chain: Own -> Reorganize -> Systemize -> Operationalize.
Howard Tullman, CEO of 1871, the incubator space in the Merchandise Mart, knows his stuff! He believes search is out, and answers are in … and data and accessibility is driving this phenomenon. He also says context is more important than what you’re saying; ritual and regular is more important than frequency; reach, resonance, reaction. Raise is a really cool gift card app where you can buy unused gift cards at really low prices and retailers aren’t balking as they would rather get some revenue versus rebating the unused gift cards based on recent regulations.
Mintel talked about the iGeneration, 5−14-year-olds, since we’re all tired of talking about Millennials. Interesting statistics that prove our country truly is a minority-majority: 5−14-yea-olds are 40 percent diverse today, 25 percent Hispanic, 10 percent African-American and 5 percent Asian. We, as marketers, need to wake up to this; or should have woken up to this a while ago.
rFactor showed us some interesting social trends and success stories: social connect to CRM, segment based on sales criteria, and align key sales and marketing stakeholders.
One large consultancy company measures success in terms of its clients’ financial results. An interesting approach that should be considered for clients who are open to innovative compensation structures.
I terribly missed my kids, Hudson and Sawyer. It was a powerfully packed two-day agenda, which I don’t regret being a part of at the very least, but I was glad to do the redeye in and out in order to limit my time away from my kids.
Updates to both the local and national media landscape can help shape our marketing strategies and ongoing recommendations for our clients. Take a look at this month’s Trends & Insights as we explore growing and changing media partners, the takeoff of the cable hit “Fear the Walking Dead,” new consumer offerings from Hulu, and a creative launch from our very own MGM National Harbor.
LAS VEGAS MEDIA PARTNER UPDATES
What’s On Magazine Launches Bilingual Format
What’s On magazine, a bimonthly reference guide providing the latest travel information for Las Vegas visitors, has launched a new bilingual format in both its print publication and website.
The bilingual print format features a high-gloss cover with content covering entertainment, dining, shopping, city highlights and snapshots of celebrities. The content and redesign include a long-form cover story, larger imagery and a new type font. Major features in the publication will now be in both English and Spanish.
What’s On additonally overhauled its website, relaunching with bilingual content under the new domain whatsonlv.com on Sept. 14.
With a circulation of 100,000, What’s On magazine is a free publication distributed via magazine racks and bell desks in the major hotels/casinos on the Strip, as well as in select hotels along Paradise and Flamingo roads. The publication is additionally placed inside Hertz, Dollar and Thrifty rental cars and within locations along the I-15 between Victorville, Calif., and Las Vegas.
Media General is one of the nation’s largest cross-screen, multimedia companies that operates or services 71 television stations in 48 markets, including KRON-MY San Francisco/Oakland/San Jose and KXAN-NBC, KNVA-CW and KBVO-MNT in Austin.
Meredith Corp., a publicly held media and marketing services company, operates national media publication such as: EatingWell, Parents, Martha Stewart Living, Better Homes and Gardens, Shape and Allrecipes. On a local level, the corporation includes broadcast stations such as Fox 5 Las Vegas.
NATIONAL INDUSTRY UPDATES
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Pulls Largest Audience Ever for a Cable Premiere
The Aug. 23 premiere of “Fear the Walking Dead,” the spin-off prequel of cable’s top-rated series, drew 10.1 million viewers, becoming the top cable premiere of all time. The 90-minute episode also drew 6.3 million viewers in the advertiser-coveted 18 to 49 demographic—surpassing “Better Call Saul,” the “Breaking Bad” spin-off that debuted earlier this year with 4.4 million—to rank as the top cable premiere in that demo as well.
The flagship “The Walking Dead” premiere drew 5.4 million total viewers in 2010. It has since gobbled up considerably more viewers, ranking as the most viewed series on cable and the most viewed in the 18-to-49 demo in all of TV.
“Fear the Walking Dead” will run for five more episodes leading into the Season 6 premiere of “The Walking Dead” in October. AMC has already ordered a 15-episode second season.
The ad-free tier, however, will still include 15-second pre-roll and 30-second post-roll on shows, including Fox’s “New Girl,” NBC’s “Grimm,” ABC’s “Scandal,” “How to Get Away With Murder,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon a Time” and “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
The move should boost Hulu’s competitiveness among consumers picking streaming video services as it tries to expand its subscriber rolls beyond the nearly 9 million people in the U.S. who currently pay for its $7.99-per-month, ad-supported service.
Neither Netflix, which seems to dominate the binge-watching market, nor Amazon’s Prime Instant Video interrupt paying customers’ viewing with ads.
Hulu expects “a significant majority” of the nearly 9 million people who currently subscribe to Hulu will remain on the paid, ad-supported service, according to Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins.
“People who avoid ads at all costs were never going to do business with Hulu to begin with, so now we have an entry point to them,” Hulu’s Senior VP of Advertising Peter Naylor said. And it can now sell advertisers on the notion that the people who access its ad-supported service will typically be more receptive to their ads—because those less tolerant of ads have filtered themselves out.
Hashtags, culture and trends, oh my! The world today is a fast-paced, ever changing marketplace that we continuously strive to understand. R&R Denver attended Digital Summit 2015, and left with these three integral industry trends:
Long gone are the days of perfect people ruling the planet. Our culture is obsessed with documentation (because if it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen, right?), and we have come to accept that not every “in-the-moment” moment is picture perfect. We find failures and flaws to be funny, and encourage behaviors that showcase humanity. Campaigns like #nofilter and the Don’t Judge Challenge succeed because the general public now values hilarity and honesty over posed and processed media. What does this mean for brands? Wrong theory (an intentional asymmetry) can finally be utilized to our gain and, finally, mistakes will be embraced … as long as you catch them on Snapchat and they go viral and they are actually completely hilarious.
2. Everyday Stardom
Consistent with our obsession to share, we also believe that we are the stars of not only our own story, but everyone else’s too. We Snapchat our road rage and Instagram our protein shakes because we think that everything we do is worthy of being shared. The growth of personalization and everyone’s secret desire to become “instafamous” means that brands need to find new ways to make everyone feel like a celebrity. The takeaway? Offer your clients a VIP experience based in reality to ensure that they know they are a celebrity − at least to you.
3. Branded Benevolence
Being a globally conscious brand is SO IN RIGHT NOW. Research shows that young people take a big issue with brands who only value their bottom line. Even more, young talent actively searches for charitable actions in future employers. Our challenge? Find tangible ways to give back that align with our brands’ values. Even better, make these efforts visible, fun and contagious. Now let’s go change the world!
With these insights, we feel armed and ready to reach people in thoughtful and innovative ways. We now understand that 1) unperfection is not only acceptable, but embraced, 2) everyone wants to be treated like a star, and 3) the heart and soul of what we do is now more important than ever. Armed with these insights, we’re ready to connect, understand and conquer!
After almost a decade of drought and what experts are calling the lowest Sierra snowpack in 500 years (that’s not a typo – five centuries), the Western states are rapidly learning what we have known all along: Water is precious. It is vital to our way of life and we can’t take its presence for granted.
When R&R first began working on water conservation efforts with the Southern Nevada Water Authority more than 20 years ago, many residents here had many misconceptions on who was using water and how it could be saved. Many thought the huge hotels in the resort corridor with their fountains and water features were the biggest users. Others named golf courses. But the fact was, and still is, that the resort corridor consumes 3 to 4 percent of our water. The truth is, in a valley of more than 2 million residents, the vast majority is used by residents − everyday people living everyday lives. Further, the vast majority of that majority is used outside, keeping trees, shrubs − and mostly, lawns − alive in our arid desert climate.
So if the residents are the people using it, we knew they’d have to be the ones who save it. Over the years, our work has shown them how. This month, we’ve introduced two new campaigns to continue the momentum we’ve built up over the years.
The first is centered on the SNWA’s Water Smart Landscaping program. It’s based on a simple premise: Lawns are the biggest single consumer of water in Las Vegas. If you want to make a significant reduction in water use, replace your thirsty grass with more water-efficient desert landscaping. And the Water Authority will actually pay you money to do it through rebates. It is a program that saves 9.6 billion gallons of water a year and has, to date, upgraded more than 172 million square feet of grass to desert landscaping.
The primary message of the campaign is simple: “Get Your Head Out of Your Grass.” Short, simple, to the point. The Water Authority certainly understands that people like their lawns. And no one is suggesting that there is no place for lawns at all. Only that if we all found a way to get along with a little less grass, the water savings can be substantial. Substantial, as in 9.6 billion gallons a year. Ordinary people, doing ordinary things.
The second campaign is a continuation of an initiative the Water Authority has undertaken for many years. The situation is thus: Summer in Las Vegas is really hot. To keep our plants and lawns alive in June, July and August, we have to set the timers on our sprinklers and irrigation systems to run very frequently (almost all Southern Nevada homes and businesses control their sprinklers with automatic timers). But once the shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures of fall arrive, our landscaping doesn’t need as much water and residents can adjust their timers accordingly. In fact, they should.
But people are busy, and they forget. This campaign reminds them.
Very sexy, very easy, very effective. Billions of gallons saved every year with virtually no effect whatsoever on the lives of the home and business owners who do it. Ordinary people, doing ordinary things. Saving water, one gallon at a time.
That’s how, living in the middle of the Mojave Desert during the worst drought any of us has ever known, the citizens of Southern Nevada are saving more than 42.5 million gallons of water a day. It’s how we have reduced our consumption of water from 248 gallons per capita per day (GPCD) in 2008 to 118 GPCD in 2014. It’s how we’re saving water at a rate five times greater than the rate of our population growth.
That’s how we’re saving water here in the desert. And that’s how the other Western states can too − ordinary people doing ordinary things.
When R&R Partners was brought in to help revive a stale and scattered campaign – Utah’s “Slow the Flow, Save H2O” statewide public education message to encourage homeowners to reduce water use – our agency was asked that our strategies be research-driven and strategically focused.
We took on the project with the glass half full. We began an exhaustive review of existing research and then conducted our own, which provided key insights that inspired a radical shift in the campaign.
R&R based all of its messaging strategies and tactics on one of the most respected, evidence-based theories of social cause marketing that aims to change social norms and convert intentions to act into positive social behaviors. First, R&R created an innovative partnership with Utah’s MLS team, REAL Salt Lake, to leverage its loyal fan base of men (61%) and homeowners (82%). It was the perfect fit, with its playing season even overlapping the spring/summer advertising campaign. We created co-branded TV, radio and online ads that featured REAL players and their “Grass Whisperer” – the guy responsible for the natural lush turf. And in a nontraditional messaging twist, we also lined all of the water fountains in the stadium with artificial turf to remind fans “your pitch only needs a sip. Don’t overwater.”
We also searched for ways to have direct contact with Utahns when they were already thinking about their outdoor watering. We expanded our community partnerships to include The Home Depot. What better way to communicate to the millennial male about conserving water outdoors than at the point of decision, while he’s searching for a replacement sprinkler head? All 22 Home Depot stores across the state enthusiastically joined in the effort.
The outcome: The campaign has attained enviable awareness levels, especially for social cause initiatives, with 64 percent audience recall. And not only are people remembering the message, they’re also taking action to implement conservation behaviors.
We’re changing the game by changing the social norm, from a culture of consumption to one of conservation.