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Debunking Casino Tweet Boasting : Mirage

By Chuckmonster on Tuesday, 8th March 2011 1:25pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 12


Big thanks to Twitter for providing us with the joy of having our friends share pictures of their dinner in real time and our favorite brands the ability to market at us between our friends' Twitpics. The difference usually is that when our friends say "the lamb sausage was great, the duck fat fries were meh" they are basing it on actual, straight-off-their-tongue experience. Brands... well... they fudge it.

Take Mirage for example. Yesterday afternoon, they touted that BLT Burger had won a "best burger" award from the Los Angeles Times.

Seeing this aroused my curiosity as I had just published the Holstein's review and more importantly, I did not know that the L.A. Times had started giving out Best and Worst's of Las Vegas. So I clicked through and found that not only did the L.A. times not give out Best and Worst of Las Vegas awards, they didn't even give out a Best Burger award to BLT Burger. In fact, they article in question isn't even an award or a listing or a slew of mini-bite burger stand reviews collected under the banner of "Best Burgers In Vegas."

Truth be told, it was an advertising supplement. A pull out section of the paper in which the content is written and paid for by an advertiser looking to sell stuff not by advertising, but by buying content.

The listing of burgers is cross corporate, so MGM isn't directly behind this... more likely this is an project delivered and paid for by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The moral of the story is simple... don't forget that every single word that comes from a casino - marketing emails, Facebook, twitter, billboards, signs, Tweet ups and meetups - is designed to do one thing and one thing only, separate you from your money.

Tagged: twitter   mirage   burgers   


Comments & Discussion:

once again proving why twitter sucks a fat one.

Nice! Keep calling those of us in marketing on the carpet. I'm not convinced every single word is meant to separate people from their money (although, ultimately, that's why marketing and advertising exist). Sometimes, the words (especially in social) are intended to inform or entertain or create engaging conversation. Authenticity and transparency are key, though. And credibility doesn't come easy, nor is it easily recaptured once it's lost. Some of us are dedicated to taking the spin and hype out of marketing, but it can be a tough sell sometimes. The whole reason social exists is people grew weary of spin and hype, so for companies to squeeze old tactics into new channels is not all that swift. Thanks for the post. I think I was going to link to that in our blog! (Should we discount the possibility the poster might not have known it was a paid advertising piece? I could easily have made the same mistake, and I know everything.) Still, we could all use a little reminder it's the steak, not the sizzle. Or some burger analogy.

@sroeben don't fool yourself social is the same spin and hype game just done using real time tools, improvised marketing materials and the language of the medium.

i'll put odds behind your bet that the Miragerator didn't see that it was an advertisement.

Nice job catching this. I saw the LA Times piece and didn't realize it was an ad; even though my suspicion was raised by Le Burger Brasserie making it in.

I read that so-called article as well and figured it was just lazy travel writing because its list of "a few of the best" burger joints in Vegas consists of nearly every single burger-specialty restaurant in Vegas. The only ones not on the list are the newest ones - KGB, Holstein's, and I

When you get right down to it, social media (or "social" as the kids call it) is just so much masturbation. Self congratulatory masturbation.

This is no different than the ads you see in the airline magazines touting the "Great Steakhouses (or Seafood Restaurants) Of America". In many of those cases, it's not even the best place in the city in which they are listed under.

These pages are written and paid for by the folks at Vegas.com

@VegasVixen In a "feature" like that (at least the online version I saw), each restaurant usually pays for inclusion into the piece.

Also, don't confuse Vegas.com with the LVCVA (convention and visitors authority). Vegas.com is privately owned. If they pay for advertising, they make their brand very clear in it. The LVCVA is funded with bed tax money. They run general Las Vegas promotion ads (which helps them funnel millions and millions to their juiced-in, no-bid advertising agency... but that is a whole 'nother story).

Per the whole advertorial and "comps for coverage" concepts:

This stuff didn't just begin happening a couple of years ago. Advertorials have been going on since the dawn of publishing. I know that comps for coverage have been going on since before I moved here 18 years ago. I have friends and associates in tourism promotion (TV, print, and web) around the country and both advertorials and "comps for coverage" have been the norm as long as they remember.

The page Mirage linked to clearly notes it is a promotional feature. They certainly could have done a better job at wording their tweet. But unless the FTC starts busting down people's doors over this, stopping or changing this is like trying to stop the sun from coming up in the morning. Decades of nationwide (and probably worldwide) practices have set a precedent.

As for companies using social networking: At the end of the day, Mirage has over 12k twitter followers. The market is deciding that their style of tweeting has a demand. In a prefect world, maybe Twitter should just be for friends to keep up with each other on. But the cat is out of the bag as businesses are successfully using it and people are volunteering to read business tweets.

"i'll put odds behind your bet that the Miragerator didn't see that it was an advertisement. "

that was my first thought. sigh @ idiots.

In terms of marketing, Twitter is the shoulder of the information superhighway. You're standing there with your thumb out waiting for someone to pick you up.

Great post and information. I've decided more and more, I could care less and less about corporate twitter marketing. Think about it this way, what's the end game for them? Reaching the same size audience as TV for free and then being held to 140 characters to get that message to standout in anyway vs the other white noise out there. Good luck to them on it, especially considering that more then any other medium, all I have to do is remove their stream, when they make one move that irritates me.

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