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Casino Connection Blog


October 3, 2008

I know that kind of language doesn’t sit well with the attorney from the Coke Zero commercial, but it’s hard to come up with a better way to describe how Anthony Marnell III is promoting his M Resort.

He’s commissioned a lightship—aka a blimp—that features the M Resort logo on one side and an 70-foot by 30-foot LED television screen on the other to fly around Las Vegas through 2009 (with an option to extend the contract into 2010 and beyond). It’s an innovative idea from the man who said just two months earlier at the topping off ceremony for the $1 billion resort that there aren’t a whole lot of new ideas left in Las Vegas.

Credit where credit is due, the idea was proposed by Preferred Public Relations, the PR firm Marnell has retained to promote the property. (These is the same agency that came up with the idea of bringing the Flying Elvi to the opening of the Buffalo Thunder Resort in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last month as part of the “Bringing Las Vegas to Santa Fe” campaign.) Marnell said when he heard the idea, he knew it would be a gamble, but it was one that he was willing to take.

The blimp will advertise M Resort not just to passing motorists near the property, but up and down the Strip and above competing properties like Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Casino. The lightship, which is illuminated from the inside, is a glowing billboard floating through the Las Vegas sky. It provides a truly unique way for Marnell to get his message out throughout the valley, and it can also provide a source of additional income through the selling advertising time on the television screen.

It’s too early to tell if the blimp gamble will ultimately pay off, but there is no denying that with what the Review Journal brilliantly called the LED zeppelin, Marnell has found a new idea for Las Vegas. In a city where good ideas are readily “borrowed,” I supposed the biggest fear is that soon the city’s skies will be full of lightships advertising MGM Grand, Palazzo and Encore… or worse yet, “Girls direct to your hotel room.”


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