Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2017

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Agassi lends voice to ‘Vegas Strong’ ad as a response to tragedy

Updated Thursday, Oct. 5, 2017 | 1 a.m.

A new ad for Las Vegas hit social media and broadcast television Wednesday, but it has nothing to do with gambling, partying or any of the usual things people think of when they think of the Las Vegas Strip.

Titled "Vegas Strong," the one-plus minute ad is a simple tribute to all the people who survived and helped each other during Sunday night’s massacre when 59 people were killed and more than 500 wounded at the Route 91 Harvest Festival country music show across from Mandalay Bay.

The ad starts out with a black screen before slowly zooming in to a shot of the Las Vegas skyline, while Las Vegas hometown celebrity and tennis great Andre Agassi describes to viewers what strength really is.

The ad was produced by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority and R&R Partners, the ad agency known for the “What Stays in Vegas” campaign.

“Our community needed a rallying cry,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, authority president and CEO. “The other part of it that came up in our discussions is we wanted to show a community that was united in Las Vegas and also give something for our community to hold on to help get them through this traumatic experience.”

Once the team had the basic concept finished, Ralenkotter said, the next step was finding someone to narrate the ad.

“We thought, 'What about Andre Agassi?’ He grew up here. He’s a native Las Vegan and while he’s an international sports star, he has always gone back to his roots in Las Vegas,” Ralenkotter said. “He was contacted and didn’t even hesitate. He just said yes and ‘What do you want me to do?’”

Ralenkotter said the ad was rolled out to social media Wednesday morning and will start hitting cable and network TV.

“So, today it will be on several national broadcast channels and then some of the other outlets including Bravo, E, ESPN and ESPN2, FX, Lifetime, PBS, TNT, the Weather Channel,” Ralenkotter said. “And as we are reaching out we’ll be adding more to the list. We have also given it to all hotel properties, so it is also running on their social sites as well as the marquees.”