an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Las Vegas: Where You Can Develop Addictions!

Posted by Rosepixie on September 5, 2009

This ad for Las Vegas tourism was found in a fashion magazine.

Las Vegas 1The text reads:

Create the need for a New Year’s resolution.

Win the ultimate New Year’s trip to Vegas.

New Year’s Eve in Vegas is crazy good times.  Enter to win the Ultimate Vegas New Year’s Sweepstakes at (url).  It might just be the most important thing you do all year.

(url)

No purchase necessary to enter or receive a prize.  Sweepstakes begins at 12:00:01 AM EDT on October 6, 2008, and ends at 11:59:59 PM EST on December 8, 2008.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 21 years of age or older.  Void in Quebec and where prohibited.  To enter and for Sweepstakes rules, lot on to (url).  The sponsor of this Sweepstakes is the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

This is basically an ad for travel to Las Vegas dressed up as an ad for a contest, but it’s the way they’re selling Las Vegas here that bothers me.  The girl in the picture is passed out on a hotel bed and from all the bar stamps and bracelets on her hand and wrist, the implication is that she’s sleeping off a night of heavy drinking and bar-hopping.  The contest is only open to people aged 21 and up (reinforcing the “come here to drink” message, since drinking is the only common milestone at age 21), but the girl in the picture looks barely that old (I would have pegged her at 18).

I have no problem with Las Vegas or even the party town image that it has, but this ad feels incredibly irresponsible.  “Create the need for a New Year’s resolution” is really just a less crude way of saying “come try something dangerous and addicting!”  That’s not a good message.  I can appreciate advertising Las Vegas for the good time you can have there, but advertising the self-destructive, addictive and dangerous behaviors this picture suggests in this way is pretty horrible if you ask me.

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