Hooters Vegas hotel campaign targets women

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Along with chicken wings and orange shorts, restaurant chain Hooters hopes to make its brand synonymous with a Las Vegas casino and hotel.

Hooters has enlisted Advanced Results Marketing to produce a DRTV campaign for its Casino Hotel, which opened in February last year. In addition to media planning and buying for the Casino Hotel, ARM is producing a 60-second commercial that features a promotional offer for $25 rooms.

"We have over 10 years of running travel and tourist DRTV campaigns, so we know which channels will drive the calls and send customers to the Web site," said Kristi Tropp, vice president at ARM, Marlboro, MA.

The spots will air on cable television in day and night rotations. There are two versions of the promotions.

"We run two different commercials, because some networks won't accept gaming in commercials, like ESPN," Ms. Tropp said. "So in the commercial for those channels, we feature a couple dining, the spa, eating and drinking poolside, so the message is clear that the hotel offers these services as well as gaming."

The gaming version has an added clip of a group of female friends around a slot machine.

The spots are running on AMC, BET, Travel Channel, Lifetime, CNBC and the Discovery Channel. The ongoing campaign has showed preliminary results in the $6 to $50 cost per lead range, according to ARM.

Aimed at adults 35 to 54, with a heavy skew toward women, whom research shows often make the travel decisions, the spots emphasize the low promotional price - $25 per night per person.

As of now, there is no end date for the promotion. Offers are expected to change though as time goes on.

"We are targeting an adult consumer who is legal to gamble," Ms. Tropp said. "The Hooters brand is known for a younger male audience, so we want to skew it towards women."

The call-to-action on the spots drives consumers to the ARM-designated toll-free number (1-866-LVHOOTS) and the Web site at www.hooterscasinohotel.com.

Online the promotion also offers consumers a reduced $15 ticket to see Bobby Slayton, a comedian who was named to Comedy Central's list of 100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time.

The DRTV campaign consists of an initial test plan that will run a few hundred spots over a two-week time period.

"We want to generate exposure and awareness of the hotel and property," Ms. Tropp said. "Our primary goal is to really fill Hooters hotel rooms at the lowest CPL."

The Hooters Casino Hotel features 696 Florida-casual rooms and suites. It is located one block from the Las Vegas Strip and across from the MGM Grand.

The hotel contains nine different restaurants, a pool deck and a 30,000-square-foot casino floor, offering approximately 670 slot and video poker machines and 33 table games. The facility is owned by 155 East Tropicana LLC.

"Our first challenge was that people don't know that it exists," Ms. Tropp said. "Rooms in Las Vegas are a lot more expensive, so we matched the promo price with our creative in order to bring qualified buyers."

In March 2003 Hooters launched an airline, which due to increased fuel charges and other challenges within the industry, ceased service in March 2006.

The airline advertised the Hooters restaurants through its fleet of orange-and-white Boeing jets. In the summer of 2005 the airline served 15 destinations, including nonstop flights to Nassau, Bahamas.

Although the airline was seen as a failure, Hooters has seen brand success with the launch of a Hooters credit card and its expanding restaurant chain, which opened 80 domestic and international restaurants last year.

In the upcoming months ARM plans to fine-tune its media schedules, evaluate its best-performing networks and make the best conversions.

"It's a combination of information and where we can re-allocate money," Mr. Tropp said. "Hooters is really well known as a restaurant chain and this is an extension of their brand at a great value, so we plan to raise that awareness and help sell the rooms in the process."

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