Horse-Racing Group's Ads Take Aim at Vegas

California Consortium Says There's Less Trouble at the Track Than on the Strip

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Does what happens in Las Vegas really stay in Las Vegas? Don't bet on in, says the California Thoroughbred Racing Consortium, which is reminding consumers in an ad campaign that what happens in Sin City can follow you home.
California Thoroughbred Racing Consortium wants young men to gamble closer to home than make the trip to Vegas.
California Thoroughbred Racing Consortium wants young men to gamble closer to home than make the trip to Vegas.

In ads that break today, the horse-racing group's ad campaign plays off the iconic Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority campaign, advising fun-seekers that for "more fun and less trouble come to the track. You're this close to winning."

What can go wrong
The three spots show what can go wrong when one returns home from a hedonistic Vegas fling. In one spot, a man seated in an office cubicle gets an e-mail message from a big-nosed female colleague reading: "Can't stop thinking about you since the convention."

In another, a scantily clad woman with a suitcase rings a doorbell and jumps into the arms of the man who answers it, kissing him and screaming wildly about finding him at last. When a woman shows up in the background asking "Who is that?" the visitor inquires whether the woman of the house is the man's sister.

The third spot depicts a woman in bed with a man, and she notices the word "Misty" tattooed on him. She begins hitting him, demanding to know "Who is Misty?" In each spot, the voice-over says: "Unfortunately, some things don't stay in Vegas."

Targeting young males
RPA, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based agency, created the effort. Larry Postaer, the shop's founder and creative director, said the track is "a safer place [for entertainment seekers] to place their bets." He is hoping the spots, running in major California metropolitan areas, will lure young men from their computers and poker games.

Alan Landsburg, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California, which represents 9,000 horse owners, said attendance at horse-racing tracks has been dropping at the rate of about 3% to 5% per year of late. He said that drop has been due in part to the legalization of off-track betting.

Executives at the Las Vegas convention agency, R&R Partners, said they have not seen the ads and could not comment, but they noted that the iconic campaign has been imitated many times.
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