Wynn Resorts and The&Partnership ‘sprint’ to create a campaign for the Encore Boston resort

Wynn Resorts are the epitome of Las Vegas glamour, so when the casino and resort company decided to open up a property on Boston Harbor, it had to convince New England that it would be a community partner as well as a place to gamble and get away.

Wynn and The&Partnership teamed to launch Wynn’s new $2.6bn Encore Boston property in just a scant few months, and the campaign they put together has elements of both Vegas glitz and its new Everett, Massachusetts home, built on a space that used to be a chemical plant.

The ‘A World Above’ campaign is anchored by two TV spots and a 90-second online video, featuring celebrity cameos from Boston Celtics legend Larry Bird and longtime friend and rival Magic Johnson, plus The Chainsmokers, with Frank Sinatra providing the soundtrack.

In the spot, a golden elevator serves as a metaphor for elevating the Encore experience. It starts with a night shot of Shanghai, then close up to a chef coming out of a Chinese restaurant and walking into a lone golden elevator. The elevator then drops into a fancy restaurant with Sinatra on the wall as his song Nothing But the Best plays over the action.

A server gets on and the elevator shoots through the roof. More elevators are seen in the sky, one in a Wynn Vegas nightclub that picks up the Chainsmokers and a woman in a dazzling dress. Another appears at a Parisian auction to pick up high-end art. Gaming tables, fields of flowers and then Bird and Johnson all fly in the elevator, emerging at the Boston Encore. The tag, ‘A World Above’ appears at the end.

In addition to the TV spots and video, the full campaign encompasses digital, social, radio, print and OOH.

Wynn and The&Partnership told The Drum that the campaign was put together in a matter of just over four months.

Wynn chief marketing officer Scott Moore began his job in January and The&Partnership won the business then, with work beginning in February.

“We quickly had some big challenges. We were opening up on Boston Harbor, we had to have a more national look in how we did our media buying, and I needed to find a creative partner who could do all of this significant work, a big broadcast campaign, with digital, social,” Moore told The Drum.

Moore had worked with The&Partnership previously, and knew they would be able to pull from WPP resources, and that included media duties from AKQA and M/Six.

“It’s amazing to think we got this quality of work on time with this level of execution,” he added, stating that it was a collaborative effort between them.

“It’s truly been a sprint,” said The&Partnership chief executive officer Andrew Bailey. “I think it’s a great illustration of what happens when you have a really tight partnership with a client and you have the right capabilities at the table…Tactically, the world of CGI and the technology we have at our disposal allows for some of those things to happen. So, we’re just thrilled with the overall product.”

The idea for the campaign is that the Encore has truly created ‘A World Above’. That’s the tagline and the thought for all the guests. “When you come to the Wynn, you want a place that’s a cut above,” said Moore.

He said that Wynn properties are the only places that have Frank Sinatra restaurants, in Las Vegas and now in Boston. They partnered with Sinatra’s people, who shared a few tracks as the commercial was described. Nothing But the Best, one of his lesser-known tracks, seemed perfect for what the team was trying to express. From there, the campaign took lift.

“We wanted to showcase how we bring the best of the world together for our customers, that we deliver ‘A World Above’. That included art from Paris, the top Asian and Italian cuisine. The Chainsmokers are one of our premium DJ acts in Vegas and we included them,” said Moore.

However, they also needed the campaign to be uniquely Boston, so, since the Wynn has properties now on both coasts, they decided that the Bird and Johnson rivalry would make a great celebrity metaphor.

“When you saw them come together on the screen, it was just magical,” said Moore.

“We were very focused on the fact that we listened hard to the dynamics of the Boston property and what the clients were looking for,” said Bailey. “It’s no accident that we pushed hard to get Larry into the production. We were very clear about the different attributes of the property that we wanted to promote in the Boston spot. It was striking that balance between what’s relevant to the Boston property at launch but also imbuing it with the worldwide sensibility of a powerhouse luxury brand.”

The Boston sensibility bleeds into the social campaign, which is meant to energize the market. A social quiz called Boston Bets. Is a promotion where fans can win swag from the Encore by answering Boston-centric questions on its social channels.

All the efforts are to drive people to a resort that has been several years in the making. It took over a plot of land that needed an $80m environmental cleanup just to break ground. The mayor of Everett had a vision and worked with Wynn to complete the urban renewal project and transform the riverfront.

“This will be a new entertainment corridor in New England,” said Moore.

“Boston in many ways is a template for the future of this business and where it goes,” added Bailey.

Steve Wynn resigned as chief executive officer and chairman of Wynn Resorts due to allegations of sexual misconduct in February 2018.

See the work by clicking on the Creative Works box below.

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