The remarkably lavish and engaging Ameristar Casinos 2004 annual report, titled, appropriately enough, "Winning," is quite a production, from the Moshe Brakha cover photo right through to the Absolut ad on the back. Yes, it's got real ads, but that makes sense for a hefty magazine-size report that's outright impersonating a magazine-it's partly an homage to Rolling Stone, with sections that nod in the direction of Architectural Digest, Food & Wine and Zagat's restaurant reviews. "Ameristar is in the casino business, but they understand a larger truth-that they're really in the entertainment business," explains art director Josh Baker at Eleven Inc., which designed "Winning." "Entertainment is, of course, a very sensory thing-color, music, taste, emotion and action, all delivered with a lot of flair. That's what drove us to pack as many sensory experiences as possible into the annual: a pull-out poster, tipped-in music CD, removable recipe cards, Mylar wrapper and so on. And we felt that to keep true to the concept of a magazine, this should carry ads. But not Ameristar ads-that would have been too obvious. Instead, we selected some brands that we respect"-including Pepsi, Converse, Joseph Abboud, Budweiser, Napster, Skyy and adidas-"and invited them to run an ad free of charge. As far as we know, it's the first time this has been done in an annual report."
Client: Ameristar Casinos Agency: Eleven Inc., S.F. CD: Paul Curtin CW: Kim Wilsey AD: Josh Baker Art Buyer: Hillary DuMoulin Production Manager: Elizabeth Cutter