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Matthew Crowley

Las Vegas Brand Shiny in '05, Poll Shows

30 December 2005

What happens here in Las Vegas, stays here, and, it seems, in the minds of branding arbiters.

Las Vegas ranked among the nation's winningest brands in 2005 and will continue to rank high in the coming year, a survey by two marketing firms published Thursday suggests.

The second-annual Newsmaker Brands survey, by San Francisco-based Landor Associates and Washington, D.C.-based Penn Schoen & Berland, asked 1,744 adult consumers to rank the performance of 61 of the year's biggest brand newsmakers, both products and celebrities, and rate those brands' prospects in the coming year.

USA Today published the survey results Thursday.

Las Vegas rated fifth on the 2005 winners list, and is expected to rise to fourth in 2006.

The iPod, Apple Computer's wildly popular music and video player, topped this year's winners list, followed by the Internet search engine Google, talk show host Oprah Winfrey and the Internet auction site eBay.

"This speaks very well of Las Vegas," Terry Jicinsky, senior vice president of marketing for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said Thursday. "It shows Las Vegas remains in the forefront of people's minds."

The "What happens here, stays here," campaign, created by R&R Partners of Las Vegas, has helped keep the city's imagine burnished, Jicinsky said. And though the campaign rolled out nationally in January 2003, Jicinsky said its message is constantly refreshed through new television, radio and print ads.

The authority will release three to five new "What happens here, stays here" TV commercials, and a corresponding print and radio campaign in 2006, Jicinsky said.

Newsmaker Brands respondents expect Google to top 2006's brand winners list, followed by Winfrey, eBay, Las Vegas and the iPod.

Rob O'Keefe, an R&R Partners account director, said the 2006 forecast shows Las Vegas will retain its brand relevance.

"This supports the direction we're moving in with the campaign," O'Keefe said. "It shows Las Vegas is hot today and will be just as hot going into 2006."

The survey's top five brand losers for 2005 were bankrupt airline United Airlines, satellite-radio-bound shock jock Howard Stern, pop singer Britney Spears, Blockbuster Video and Miami.

Atlantic City casino magnate Donald Trump and his NBC television show "The Apprentice" ranked 12th among 2005's brand losers; Trump ranked 20th.

"The Apprentice" is expected to rise to fifth on the losers list in 2006. Spears is expected to rank first.