The MGM Grand Group and Marketing the Experience

Most people go to Vegas expecting to lose some money and hoping it lasts long enough to say they had a good time.  There are also some amazing shows there that you won’t really have an opportunity to see anywhere else.

But, unless you pay attention to the digital ads at the airport, on all the digital marquees in front of the casinos or on the trucks driving around you, may never realize that there is more to Vegas than casinos on The Strip or Fremont Street.  There are many fun and exciting activities to do outside of the casino floor, even outside of the casinos.  One can even get discounts for many of these attractions by looking around online or using the Las Vegas Pass.

Walking around Las Vegas you will see many people with their phones out taking videos and pictures and posting to their own social media sites.  This word of mouth advertising is perfect for the big casinos.  These casinos drive experiences.  And more than a gambling experience, but experiences for all ages and interests.  The way they get the word out is through re-posting what the consumers are posting as social media posts, pov videos, and images.

The MGM Hotel Group which owns all of the properties in this review have done a great job getting the word out on social media.  This has been a focus for them over the past four years with a strategy that was formed by Nick Mattera, who oversees all of Social Media Marketing for the MGM group.

To learn more about Mattera’s strategy, check out this link: Social Media and the MGM Resorts

“The best thing we can do is try to understand what the consumer wants. Whether you come to Las Vegas or not, if we can serve you an ad or content that makes sense to you, that’s a good experience. Creating the positive experience is important for us.” – Nick Mattera

One of the things that the MGM Resorts have understood is that everyone doesn’t want to be in the casino all the time.  They have been able to create and sell experiences that gambler and thrill seeker alike will enjoy.  Here are the top 5 that we found:

1. The Big Apple Coaster, New York New York

The roller coaster at the New York New York is pretty amazing, and they will let you ride a repeat time for half price as soon as you’re done. It is fast, with twists and turns and loop the loops.  This roller coaster is great during the day to look out on the city of Las Vegas as well as the desert surroundings.  It is even better at night.  The twists and turns are more exciting and the lights of the strip are quite a sight.  Now they have even added a Virtual Reality experience to the ride giving you a chance to shoot aliens who have escaped from a nearby research facility as they fly over the Strip.

(This one is pretty loud, maybe turn your volume down)

2. VR Gaming, MGM Grand

If you don’t want to walk through the casino to get to the KidZone area for video games, head on over to the MGM Grand on the ground floor (street level).  Walk right in and you’ll run into their VR Gaming area.  There you will find the LEVEL UP gaming lounge where you can spend some quality time gaming and imbibing while waiting for your turn.  You will want to wait for your spot.  Please try this out.  For $50, you will get 30 minutes of VR play time with a group of up to 8 players.

There are four different scenarios you can go through and I am sure they are all just as fun:

  • “Zombie Survival – The team is trapped in a zombie apocalypse, with the undead lurking around every corner ready to attack. Armed with a comprehensive arsenal of weapons, survivors must band together to take down wave after wave of zombies and rebuild safety barriers before extraction by the rescue team.
  • Singularity – Something has gone wrong in a secretive military research space station. While investigating the mystery, teams must battle rogue robots and killer drones through narrow corridors and the zero-gravity environment of space.
  • Engineerium – This puzzle adventure is set in a fantastical world with flying whales, giant parrots and colorful creatures. Players of all ages are challenged to solve physics-based problems as a team to advance along floating platforms high above the exotic planet below.
  • Outbreak Origins – A deadly virus is wreaking havoc on the human population, creating hordes of zombies that are taking over the cities. Your squad needs to do something quick! The dead are walking and a sinister new order is rising from the ashes. Rescue and Attack helicopters buzz overhead, guns ablaze. Amongst all the chaos is a shadow group that seems to be at the root of the outbreak. Who are they? Arm yourself with a variety of weapons; assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and take advantage of more powerful weapons on your mission to find a cure. Prepare yourself for epic battles…”

(Video of Zero Latency experience in Singapore, which is the same as the MGM experience)

In each game you will get about 15 minutes of instruction on how to use the VR system and get used to the environment with the goggles and headphones on.  Then you walk into a large empty room.  30 minutes of walking around the space, killing zombies, and jeering your friends for having to re-spawn goes quickly.  Knowing it is an empty room is no help as the experience really messes with your head.  You will still hug walls as you walk “up” ramps on the side of a building or jump over a “gap” as you are getting onto a helicopter.  This is an amazing experience and I recommend it for anyone who enjoys gaming and wants to get away while in Vegas.

3. Shark Reef Aquarium, Mandalay Bay

Also on the South end of The Strip is the shark reef aquarium at the Mandalay Bay.  This is also an amazing experience.  You can interact with the animals in a couple of different ways.  There are feeding experiences with stingrays, sea turtles, and sharks as well as an amazing dive with the sharks.

Diving with sharks can get a little spendy.  But, Come On!  How many people can say that they were in the water with sharks on purpose?!  This is a 3-4 hour experience where you get to spend time with the largest concentration of more than 30 different kinds of sharks.  Plus you get up to 4 of your friends who are too scared to climb into the tank free admission to watch you be a fool around a bunch of blood thirsty sharks.

4. Adventuredome, Circus Circus

Moving onto the north end of The Strip there are two key casinos to hit up for some action.  The first is Circus Circus.  While this hotel and casino is more well known as the place you stay with kids in tow, it also has one or two pretty exciting rides for the adult crowd.

Image result for AdventuredomeOne of these is the Canyon Blaster roller coaster.  On this ride you will get up to 55 mph on the worlds only indoor roller coaster with a double loop and double corkscrew.  This ride takes you through the Adventuredome past all the rest of the people on the Midway.  It is quite an experience!

5.  Thrill Rides, Stratosphere

Finally, there is the Stratosphere.  Here you get to experience Las Vegas’s highest amusement park.  There are 3 rides and one not to be missed experience at the Stratosphere.

Photo of Big Shot, Insanity and X-Scream thrill rides

The first is the Big Shot where you get blasted 160 ft. straight up into the air above the tallest casino in Vegas.  If that isn’t a thrill enough for you, you can try out Insanity.  On this ride, you sit in a chair that is attached to an arm that rotates out over the strip, 900 ft over the strip.  Then it starts to rotate and the chairs swing out, and up, until you are looking straight down, 900 ft, to the little ants of people walking below you.  Don’t worry.  I only saw this break down once, or twice while I lived there.  I’m sure all those kinks have been worked out.  Finally, there is the X-Scream.  This is another short thrill, but you will catapult headfirst 27 ft over the edge of the tower and dangle weightlessly for a bit before being snapped back for another go.

The last, but definitely not least thing to do at the Stratosphere is the SkyJump Las Vegas.  Here you bungee jump off of the top of the Stratosphere and free fall a very long way before you are lowered to the landing pad on street level.

You can book either day or night activities for any of these activities giving a very different outdoor Las Vegas experience.

For more interesting or offbeat content, check out all our fun links:

Is VR becoming hot?

The Garden Tarp by RT1home

Designed and marketed by the Los Angeles based online retailer RT1home, the Garden Tarp is a product stylishly designed for urban dwelling plant enthusiasts. As a small startup RT1home primarily utilizes social media platforms like Instagram, and sales channels like Etsy to market and sell it’s products. Through daily posts with planting tips, product promotions and demonstrations RT1home has established connections to the indoor gardening community with over 11k followers on Instagram. The Garden Tarp is the most popular item sold and frequently faces challenges meeting demand with limited production capability as a new small business. After trialing the tarp for myself I can see why so many people want it; it’s versatile, looks modern, doesn’t take up space, and  makes indoor potting and other messy hobbies convenient.

This product is well positioned to be successful given changing millennial demographics.  According to this Forbes article, educated millennial’s are more likely to live in urban concrete jungles than prior generations. Meanwhile, LA Times article: They don’t own homes. They don’t have kids. Why millennial’s are plant addicts. Goes into the fact that indoor plants provide something to care for while not requiring a major commitment that holds you back if you’re life is uprooted. It’s also never been easier for companies like RT1home to develop niche solutions and easily reach target consumers through low cost social mediums. To make this point, RT1home demonstrates it’s product uses through daily Instagram stories to build awareness.

The tarp itself is made of a high quality and very durable marine grade material that looks and feels expensive. You don’t have to worry about spilling water or getting it dirty, because you can wipe or rinse off the dirt. Even if you move 3 times in a year like me this product will remain on the list of things that come along.

 

Functionally, it’s simple to use. Just roll it out and snap the corner closures to create a basin that will contain messes. You can easily dump leftover soil and roll it back up for future uses. Previously I tried using newspaper or cardboard, and it always resulted in a bigger mess.

By purchasing this product you will be supporting a woman owned business that designs and manufactures locally in Los Angeles. So go get one! You can easily purchase through Etsy, or directly from RT1home for $68 shipping included. Additionally, RT1home has established many retail connections through social media platforms, and is now being sold at independent plant stores across the country.

For more interesting or offbeat content, check out all our fun links:

Is VR becoming hot?

Is VR becoming hot?

What image does your mind conjure upon hearing Virtual Reality (VR)?

If you thought 20-something nerds in a basement with crazy goggles hooked into a computer, playing a souped up Sims or D&D game where they get to make believe they are someone much cooler … you may want to reconsider your characterizations.

Unlike standard PC gaming systems, VR truly immerses the participants in its make-believe environment.  This aspects has gained VR some niche applications across a variety of disciplines: military, police, medical professionals, space researchers to name a few.  This allows training in uncharted environments for threatening or dangerous experiences without any physical risks (mostly!).

From a marketing perspective, just how mainstream is the VR technology?  It sure has its fair share of innovators and early adopters but is the technology ready to jump over ‘the chasm’ for adoption by majority of the masses?

Similar to other emerging technologies, mass-adoption of VR applications was initially hindered by the high price.  When the Oculus Rift came out as a consumer product, it started at $600 with touch controllers costing $199. Pair that with a powerful enough PC needed and one could be forking out over $1500 for a fully functional gaming system … and still be wired to the PC.  Other brands have since entered into this market – HTC (Vive), Playstation (headset), Samsung (Gear – from Oculus) and Google (Daydream and Cardboard), few of the big-brand names.  Many of these are mobile; Google has just created the ability for their phones (itself priced at ~ $800) to be turned into VR headsets.  It’s been 4 years since Rift was released as a development kit, and over the past 2 years they have been selling to a broader customer base.

The evolution of VR hardware is also benefiting from the growth of streaming media and introduction of 3D broadcasting – even NFL is broadcasting some football games in 3D.  The movie and TV show streaming giant, Netflix is now providing content for VR in addition to games being created specifically for it.  And now Oculus has the Go, a wireless system with a single controller.  The target for this product is wireless gaming and media immersion. Imagine sitting in an airplane with your headset and fully immersing yourself into a movie instead of watching it on that tiny screen on the back of the seat that keeps leaning closer and yet not close enough to block out the stranger in the seat next to you.  Accepted, similar to the initial reaction to a person talking with a Bluetooth headset, you may freak others around you for laughing and crying to yourself with a funky device over your eyes (and some are definitely worth watching!).

But is the customized personal experience worth it?  I say, yes.  I believe we are nearing a major turning point for VR technology. Wireless is one step in the right direction, ease of use for personal appeal and social comfort with watching the streaming media may be others.  As Oculus moves past developers to targeting the wider market, who would be better to sell them to the masses than our favorite movie and music stars.  All the stars are indeed closer in VR!

For more interesting or offbeat content, check out all our fun links:

Is VR becoming hot?

 

5 Ways to Happily Mismanage Your Life

The world is filled with feel-good, optimistic approaches on how to establish a good lifestyle and improve yourself. This is not one of those … welcome to the dark side.
Whether you are student, working in a office or managing your personal life, below are some of the best ways to mismanage your life and be totally happy doing it.
1. Distract yourself
Internet and smart phones have brought the power to transform the world anytime and from anywhere into your palm.  If you are comfortable in your job/relationship already, you may want to seriously consider distracting yourself with as many gadgets and apps.  After all, there will always be another job tomorrow somewhere, but the latest viral news/post will be lost in the landfill of internet any minute.  Focus is overrated, go ahead and refresh.
2. Overspend your earnings
Saving for retirement is great only if you want all the resources at a time when you are physically incapable of enjoying anything those resources could buy.  The experience of enjoying your dream vacations in your youth in worth a lifetime of debt.  Go ahead and take that vacation on credit.
3. Aim for instant gratification
Successful people are able to deal with contradiction by doing what is necessary to resolve issues or, at least, neutralize it.  If you are turned off by the significant planning and thoughtful execution of tasks this mandates, then give into temptation and relish short-term rewards at the expense of long-term benefits.  No one knows what surprises tomorrow will bring.  Go ahead and enjoy everything now.
4. Become complacent
If you do not like your views to be challenged, then going to school is the best way to waste valuable years of your life.  Technology is evolving faster than humans.  Being unwilling to learn new skills may be the quickest way to make yourself worthless in the modern economy.  Even in personal relationships, unwillingness to keep the spark alive is the sure shot way to a long singles lifestyle. Put on those pajamas and get too comfortable.
5. Wreck personal connections
If you know that you are the better half, then separating yourself from the pesky human connections grounding you to reality may be your most gratifying decision.  Free your unique ideas from the grind of thoughtful collaborative team work.  Who needs allies when you are perfect … make yourself great again!
Note: This article is a satirical take on the most important leadership lesson, Know Thyself: Self-assessment is the first step towards self-management.  
For more interesting or offbeat content, check out all our fun links:

Is VR becoming hot?

7 Reasons to use Poodles for Marketing

Everyone is looking for the best way to appeal to the perfect audience for their products.  Kick you marketing campaign into high gear with Poodles! Here are 7 reasons to use a poodle to drive your internet traffic.

1.  Perceived Wealth:  Poodles have been used as status symbol by the wealthy for generations due to their elegant features and elite intelligence. Use them to increase the perceived value of your product.

2. Emotional Appeal: Dog Food Marketing is the term used when users of the product are not the decision makers. Using poodles for advertising your products appeals to those decision makers emotional instincts with a relatable hook.

3. Play up the Stakes: Poodles are one of the smartest dog breeds and can be trained to do just about anything.  Draw in your target audience with poodles in offbeat action too wild for anyone to forget!

4. Diversity: Poodles come in all sizes & colors and are equally loved by diverse communities around the world. Build brand loyalty with your favorite groups. Poodle pride!

5. Ruffle some Feathers: Poodles can be easily tailored to bring out undeniable sassy attitudes unlike any other dog breed.  Throw shade at your competition by humiliating them. Complaining will only turn your audience away so turn up the heat by throwing in some laughter at their expense.

6. Feminism: Poodles have a lot of feminine appeal…Establish better engagement with your female clientele by demonstrating all that female power. Just don’t take it too far, otherwise you might creep them out.

7. Masculinity: Poodles are hunting dogs.  Use them to highlight the masculinity and agility of your product (Warning: Graphic content from real hunting scenes!).

 Just put a poodle on it!