Hard Rock taps Allison to buoy branding efforts

LAS VEGAS: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has given its six-figure PR account to Allison & Partners. The San Francisco-based agency, serving as AOR, has started work on a brand-awareness campaign.

LAS VEGAS: The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has given its six-figure PR account to Allison & Partners. The San Francisco-based agency, serving as AOR, has started work on a brand-awareness campaign.

Allison is handling media relations, event management, and Web-based promotion for the hotel, which is undergoing an $800 million renovation project. The campaign will target men and women, 21- to 49-years old.

The firm is also promoting Rehab, the hotel's weekly Sunday afternoon pool party, and Wasted Space, a nightclub opening in June that is co-owned by motorcycle star Carey Hart.

The effort promoting Rehab, which begins April 27 and runs through September, will feature re-creations of the pool party in various other cities and a reality show.

Events promoting Wasted Space are scheduled to run through early June, said Matt Harris, Allison's SVP for media relations and brand entertainment.

The hotel has hosted local and national media outlets at wine tastings and dinners. Hard Rock may also create hotel-branded YouTube pages, Harris said.

Hard Rock wants consumers to know that it is open for business while the renovation takes place. Those efforts should be completed by the fourth quarter of 2009, said Dorian Cantrell, the hotel's PR manager.

"Part of the goal is to let people know that we're a hot, happening place to be, even though we're under construction," she said.

Ten Allison staffers are working on the Hard Rock account, Harris explained.

As many as five other firms pitched the hotel during a six-month RFP process. Allison's new-media work played a key role in the win, Harris said. Allison has replaced Harrison & Shriftman as AOR.

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