New Las Vegas Ad Campaign Highlights Gays, Makes Fun of Straight People

Las Vegas has had an interesting history with respect to its advertising. As we wrote in our “Why is Vegas Called Sin City” article, the 1980s were a time in which Vegas was trying to brand itself as a family-friendly destination, and thus discouraged promotion of the various “sins” available in the city. But soon after this, the “bad” side returned in full force, and recently we’ve been treated to messages like “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.”

But one recent ad campaign is perhaps bolder than those that came before, and aims at a clear demographic.

As first reported on Buzzfeed, a new “Gay Las Vegas” campaign takes aim at the LGBT community by depicting fun-loving, happy gay and lesbian couples in contrast to the bumbling, poorly-dressed, out-of-place straight couple in their midst.

The tagline for the three different spots is “Everyone’s welcome, even straight people” and the landing page advertised is visitlasvegas.com/gaytravel.

On Buzzfeed comments and Facebook, reception to the campaign has been mixed. Many have called the ads stereotypical and offensive towards gays, while others have called out the poor quality of the photoshopping. On the other side of the coin, defenders have pointed at the fact that the campaign is clearly satire, and think it is pretty amusing.

You can see full-size pictures of the ads at the Buzzfeed story: http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/gay-las-vegas-ads-mock-straight-people

The advertising agency that came up with the campaign is R&R partners of Las Vegas, who are also responsible for the “What Happens Here” advertisements. R&R is a large firm that also serves clients in other metropolitan areas including Austin, Denver, Los Angeles and Washington DC.

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