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“Keep It Simple, Stupid.” Tips From The Top

“What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.”

This little phrase changed the game for a man named Randy Snow, creative director for R & R Advertising in Las Vegas. Charged with turning Vegas around following the September 11 attacks, Snow and his team brilliantly coined a phrase that has become a pop culture staple. We here at Flower Shop Network had an opportunity to hear Snow speak during lunch today, and it was nothing short of inspirational–and not just for marketers. His ideas are applicable to anyone with an audience to reach.

Snow is clearly a smart man. Although he admits to not coining the phrase himself, he didn’t let it get off his desk. In fact, Snow attributes the idea to a couple of his creative writers (ahem), who brought the idea to him in passing. Snow recognized the magic in their idea and held on to it. This is important for any business, big or small: a good idea is a good idea. Snow said he and his production crew often pause during shoots to rework and rewrite scripts as the ideas flow. They come from everyone from the actors to the cinematographers. The key is he listens. He doesn’t charge himself with coming up with all of the ideas, but he does know a good one when he sees it.

Another key of Snow’s success is research. Snow said following Sept. 11, he and his team went out with paper and pencil and started asking, “What should we do next?” to tourists on the street. The answer: keep being Vegas. Snow said his firm is allotted $7 million in research budgeting to perform focus groups, triads (focus groups of three people), and polls to find their audience and what they’re looking for.

This goes for anybody. Use social media to get in touch with your clientele. Ask them questions. “What are you looking for? How can we make this easier?” Spend time with your consumers and listen. What you want isn’t always what they want. Check out this blog for an example of how you can use social media for your business! Snow said he was met with a great deal of opposition when presenting the “What Happens Here, Stays Here.” campaign. It wasn’t until Mayor Oscar B. Goodman informed them that “Our Las Vegas isn’t their Las Vegas,” that the idea took hold.

Keep it simple, stupid. Snow said he and his team start with a good idea, whether it be print, web, or video, and start taking away things they don’t need. One of the most successful commercials for the campaign contained no dialouge, and yet, the lead in the commercial won an acting award for her role! Another award-winning print ad showed nothing but a lint roller covered in sequins, feathers and fake eyelashes and the phrase “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” That’s all it needed!

Although he was given a surprisingly small production budget, Snow said he never skimped on actors, directors or other crew (“We’ll make it up in catering,” he said). He had only a few seconds to make a point, and he wanted it to be the best few seconds possible. Quality is key. Don’t skimp on the things that matter. Use your resources to create something special. This is where the importance of creativity and knowing your brand come into play. No one knows your brand better than you, and no one knows Las Vegas better than Randy Snow.

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