Multichannel DM Draws Aces for Wynn Hotel

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Wynn Las Vegas hotel's mailer involving a video-enhanced CD-ROM has been dealing such good hands that the gaming resort may want to tip the dealer.

The luxury resort hotel last week mailed 65,000 pieces of its 5¼-by-7½-inch brochure in the company's latest installment of a direct campaign aimed at filling hotel suites during slower summer months. During June, the Wynn dropped 205,000 pieces in the biggest stage of the campaign.

Since then, the 215-acre resort has seen an enviable direct response and even a viral effect. After last month's staggered drop, the hotel has tracked 164,000 unique IP addresses uploading and viewing the CD-ROM.

"Some of those were 'pass-alongs,' where recipients must have shared the disc," said Lance Evans, executive director of hotel marketing at the 15-month-old Wynn Las Vegas.

"We have thousands of room nights booked from the campaign so far," Mr. Evans said. "I don't want to quote the exact total of room nights because the campaign is still going, but the response has been significantly higher than we thought it would be."

New York-based marketing services firm Slover [and] Company designed the colorful, photo-laden "this summer experience" piece, while the video disc production was done by iMedia International Inc., Santa Monica, CA.

The CD-ROM presentation was put together similar to a digital catalog, and its video gives viewers a peek at the Las Vegas Strip resort's gaming facilities, golf course, fine dining restaurants and extravagant shows.

The video walks recipients through several sections of amenities with voice-over copy that's layered atop laid-back instrumental music. Users are able to click through to buy bookings at www.wynnlasvegas.com if they are connected to the Internet.

The current booklet and CD entail three special-offer bookings for select Sundays through Thursdays until Sept. 7. They include the Resort Room for $159, the Parlor Suite for $359 and the Salon Suite for $559.

But rooms merely touch on what a sales conversion can mean to the 50-story hotel. According to a recent report by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, the average tourist spends around $1,012 per trip on gaming, food/beverage and shopping - all available on the premises of the Wynn.

In addition, the resort hopes its print-CD combo mailer can create brand separation from industry rivals such as the Trump International Tower & Hotel. That particular 64-story resort of the celebrity real estate mogul's namesake opened across the street a few months after the Wynn debuted last year.

"It is competitive in this city," Mr. Evans said. "While we are not struggling, the summer and the winter are simply the hardest times to fill a hotel here. There is a [false] notion that the hotels in Las Vegas fill themselves all of the time."

Julia Carcamo, executive director of advertising and public relations at Wynn Las Vegas, suggested that the resort is not only looking to gain ground against high-end resorts like the Trump but also versus the idea that tourists can get their money's worth on the cheap while in the City of Lights.

She said the mailer challenges recipients to think big.

"Because we are not the least-expensive on the strip, we have to think of a way to tell our story where it's about the experience, where people say 'that's the Las Vegas experience I want,'" Ms. Carcamo said. "Not necessarily tell the story for somebody who is looking around for a room that is $10 less, but somebody who wants to come here for a memorable, Las Vegas experience."

Mr. Evans said that since the CD-ROM mirrors the Web site in certain layout aspects, the mail campaign is actually a testing ground applicable to the future of multiple channels.

"We can see all aspects of [information] that we are looking for-states, cities, what operating systems they use, what pages on the disc are most popular," Mr. Evans said. "It's almost like doing direct mail right on the Internet."

The final phase for the Wynn's 2006 campaign will mail in October in order to bolster bookings in November and early December, when most travelers think holidays first and vacations second. The brochure, which is being sent to a list mostly comprised of past guests and people who signed up online, has been extended to 10 panels from earlier versions of eight or less.

The second page of the brochure reads "book your stay in three easy ways..." The copy goes on to instruct readers on how to use a promotional code to order via the CD-ROM or directly through Wynn Las Vegas. In addition, for the first time in the resort's young direct marketing history, the June mailing premiered a 1-877 call center number for bookings.

"Providing the extra channel is worth it," Ms. Carcamo said. "When people first go to the CD-ROM or Web site, sometimes they need the personal contact. Sometimes, they need to ask something specific about the room that they didn't see on the disc or online."

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